through mountains to the sea

The single road crossing the mountains on the north west side of Mallorca winds steeply uphill.  Just as it reaches the plateau there is a gate signed Vinyes Mortitx.  That path twists through groves where roots of limestone grow into olive trees and holm oak.  The route climbs to the top of the ridge and looks down onto the sea.  Here, patches have been cleared and ploughed, fields ringed by rocks.  A square of pink stone within posts and lintel of grey looked like a door, or a shrine.

My most recent post linked conte crayon drawings on brown paper to water colours done three years before in the same location.  The drawing above used all these tools: limestone blocked in heavy crayon strokes, watercolour layered over this resist, more crayon to build texture into the trees and vegetation in the foreground, white crayon to lose the demarcation between painted sea and sky.

That previous post brought its own harvest of comments and discussion on the challenges of drawing, and of abstraction versus representation.  The most interesting drawing turned out to be the one I had liked least, the first attempt on that day abandoned as a failure.  Now I look at it (shown again below) with others’ eyes and see its abstraction, a strong blue against a shape made largely of unadorned paper, a patch of white and strong black lines on the foreground.  If I could have seen the power of those elements at that time, I would have been more purposive, drawn just those and stopped.

Let me say, thank you for your insights.

2 responses to “through mountains to the sea

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