air currents

when I claimed at dinner that I had been drawing air currents, I was met with some scepticism, possibly some humour …

I had sought to draw kittiwakes wheeling over Dunbar harbour, then scooping themselves up the sheer face of the ruined castle wall to alight on its projecting blocks.

I had in mind the drawings of artist and course tutor, Greg Poole. I had seen them the previous evening and am delighted to find them now posted here http://gregpoole.co.uk/kittiwakes-dunbar/.

I also thought on his words from another context. Seeking to capture the fullness of a shore bird, he had imagined rain falling on its back, the running drips describing its shape. So my air currents are just that, a trick of the imagination. I used a chalk pastel to block in the flight path before trying to draw in the bird. The whole point is to draw fast and responsively.

Still, genuinely, I tried to feel that cushion of air as it buoyed up the wings, while every sense, every feather was responsive to small changes in pressure. Thought through like this, we began to imagine a drawing made up entirely of the air currents as they swept round and over the castle at Dunbar, described by the flight paths of the kittiwakes.

13 responses to “air currents

    • Thanks
      This was an experiment. I am going to extend this. No kittiwakes near where I live but perhaps lapwings might be a challenge.
      As I say, its just a trick to train my eye.

  1. Because you feel the movement and the lift, kestralart, your work will never lack feeling and movement. I see it in about everything you do. Is that the doctor in you showing through (knowledge of underlying things that create thewhole)? Somehow, artists that get what their subject feels like, ( the building of a city, the air space around it, the movement that created it and the passion for replicating the “whole” of all of that) end up with very interesting art that speaks volumes. I like what you have done here. I “feel” these bird’s flight.

    • Hi Leslie
      Praise indeed, and much appreciated.
      Still, last week on the seabird painting course, I found myself rather humbled by the skills I witnessed round me. More on that course in later posts.
      Neil

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