Graham Graham Beck

art – drawings

Thoughts on Drawing:

Drawing, to me, is a very instant (but never easy) way of producing results. It can be raw, expressive, energetic, controlled, precise, observational, abstract, 'about the process', colourful... From using the humble pencil, & other traditional materials, such as charcoal (where would life drawing be without charcoal?), graphite stick & pen, through to less-conventional drawing tools, such as damp tea bags. I have used them quite a lot! They were one of the 'ingredients' in the on-going project, 'Transition'.

Due to it's exploratory nature, drawing can go anyway & everyway. I feel less-restricted, probably because colour doesn't always enter into the equation, so that's one thing less to think about. I've probably done far more drawing than I have painting over the years, but I would still like to do more, given the chance - both sound & music seem to dominate over everything else. So, when I get the chance to draw, I draw. It can be a great freeing-up process (especially when things seem to go right, which isn't that often for me). Even using mistakes can take you in a different direction, & as Paul Klee once said, 'Drawing is like taking a line for a walk'. But, you need to be able to free your mind up in the first place, & not always go with convention, to be able to do this.

Drawing has always been seen as the poor relation to painting. Not so, since without it, painting wouldn't exist. You need to be able to draw before you can paint, & to be able to draw, you have to 'see' what's in front of you first - & depict it - hence, acquiring 'observational skills'. Drawings can be studies, but they can also be fully-flegded works in themselves. I have learnt far more from looking at drawings (the use of line, tonal techniques, mistakes - yes, mistakes!), as it's all laid bare to the viewer. It is possible to 'draw with paint', & this is when boundaries start to blur, i.e. when does a drawing become a painting? All deep stuff, that. What I shall say, though, is that a drawing is not 'sketch'! A sketch is defined as a quick, undetailed drawing - hence the phrase '...The details were very sketchy'. In my mind, it is a derogatory term, undermining the whole subject/process of drawing........I could go on here, but I'm not writing a book (at least not yet!).

For more information, & work/exhibition details, are on the 'Paintings' page.


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