One night I experimented with powdered charcoal and pastel, scraped into shapes with a time expired credit card and palette knife on a smooth resistant plastic surface. The first version developed almost by chance to show a distant city, part obscured by mountains against a red sand-blown sky.
The second piece was undertaken more deliberately. I wanted to show the path into a city through a river that in the way of cities has become more an outflow for waste. The city was to have been monumental. The superstructure of the tram system was to spider across the foreground above the open sewer. These two urban arteries were to draw the eye back to a massive city that reached up and up, piercing the clouds.
At the start, I built in the textured surface of the tram supports over the smooth waterway. But at some point, the picture lost direction. I began lifting out with tissue, lost much of what I had done and in exasperation scrubbed at the surface, abandoned it and went to bed.
After a week, I began to work into what was left in pastel, then ink. I began to see an alien city, with distorted organic buildings. I tested options digitally on the iPad. This weekend I added stalactites to make clearer the structural positioning and added what is not quite a bird.
Here it is, not the image I had imagined at first, but one that grew in the drawing.
The way into the city.