Many years ago in the early days of my blog, I published a post called “Drawing Breath”. It was all about the beginning of my explorations into automatic drawing processes. Much time has passed since then, and I find myself revisiting the theme of connections between drawing and breathing. With open studios looming I’ve been thinking about the questions I am asked frequently about my work – where my ideas come from, how my process works etc – so I’ve been reflecting on how my practice has evolved and my thoughts came back around to breathing.
It goes something like this:
My ambition in all of my drawings is to find that moment when the process of drawing, and the actual image created, come as easily as breathing. There is a natural movement in drawing that is neither strong and deliberate, nor fragile and hesitant. Overthink the process and the resulting image looks belabored or contrived. Let loose completely and no longer pay attention to what is unfolding before you, and the drawing dissipates and becomes unfocused. Like breathing, drawing actually comes naturally if you let it find it’s own pace and expression within your body, and then enjoy the process of allowing it to flow through you. Not surprisingly, I can usually tell when my drawings are not going well because my breathing becomes hesitant, shallow and caught.
But this is not to say that finding that moment is easy. It’s a constant struggle to remember not to get trapped in my mind – that the work is happening out there on the paper, and not up here in my head.
Anyway, here are a couple of glimpses of what’s going on in my studio in these last few days before open studios. The photos are not great because I took them at 10pm with no natural light, but you’ll get the general idea…
And here are a few more images: photos