What am I to draw? Am I supposed to think about what has the best chance of selling? In my opinion the answer is no.
Whatever the subject is, I am passionate in wanting to draw it. That is more important than wondering if there are potential buyers for such a piece.
I like to build up atmospheres and recreate situations where I found myself in a happy state of mind. This means I am most often drawing about my travels.
In the case of “Snow Showers” I had to convince myself to draw it because it looked so complicated. Though I loved the idea of it, I wasn’t sure where to start. In the end I simply began, deciding that I would learn on the job. It was a challenge which, thankfully, succeeded.
Since my first trip to Japan in 2003 I have been drawing maiko (apprentice geiko) and geiko (the Kyoto word for geisha). The drawing “Dichotomy” is another example of a drawing I had no idea how to tackle because of its detail and complexity. Once again I had an internal tussle, trying to convince myself to take the plunge.
I like dereliction and grunge. In the scene of “A Vendre” I saw a vacant shop front as abstract expressionist when I came across it on rue Saint Antoine in Paris. I stood on the other side of the street, photographing people as they walked in front of it. Finally the right subject came along – a rather stylish Parisienne, who contrasted with her backdrop.
“Composition” is another drawing which explores the tension between ugliness and beauty. Besides, which is which? Ugliness has its own beauty.
“Still Life” – is it ugly or beautiful, or both at the same time?
The two drawings below illustrate different approaches to the same subject (Notre Dame).
I mentioned at the conclusion of my page “Failures!” that I had watched the film “Hitchcock”. In that film, the actor Anthony Hopkins who plays Alfred Hitchcock, says at the very end “But you know as they say in Hollywood: ‘You’re only as good as your last picture.’ So, now, if you’ll excuse me, I must toddle off to begin the exhaustive search for my next project.”
He holds out his cigar towards something we don’t yet see. He continues “Unfortunately I find myself once again bereft of all inspiration. I do hope something comes along soon…”
Yes, those regular gaps in an artist’s life when the inspiration dries up for the next project/subject/drawing/painting/book are familiar to all of us who create.