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.