Sophocles: Oedipus in Colonos
Oedipus: Ho, friends! ye will not surely play me false? Chase this ungodly villain from your land.
Chorus: Hence, stranger, hence avaunt! Thou doest wrong in this, and wrong in all that thou hast done.
Creon to his guards: ‘Tis time by force to carry off the girl, if she refuse of her free will to go.
“I will not say that I come breathless from speed, or that have plied a nimble foot; for often did my thoughts make me pause, and wheel round in my path, to return. My mind was holding large discourse with me; ‘Fool, why goest thou to thy certain doom?'”
The drawing below was done by my adult son, who never normally draws, on the occasion of my birthday this week.
The phrase in the title references the Book of the Dead, the working manual for the Abhorsen who hastens the unquiet spirits through the seven precincts and past the final gate.
Henri Matisse collected objects and placed them as actors centre-stage and in the wings in the dramas of his still life images.
He used cut out shapes to position his players and the cut outs themselves became art.
He spent a year searching for a Venetian carved wood chair and was delighted with his find.
These six last images include a couple of illicit photographs, and scans of post cards and illustrations in the book accompanying the exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts exhibition, “Matisse in the studio“. I love the simple lininess in the third and last of these illustrations and the simple blockiness of the cut-outs and just the idea of exploring the relationships between the contents of a studio full of things.
A couple of weeks ago, I went drawing in Birmingham with the artist who blogs as outside authority. OA had recently been at a workshop led by Sarah Cannell and had been encouraged to draw using three randomly chosen sharpies, using colours to annotate the composition, for example to outline shapes of interest or represent receding layers. After OA caught the train home, I nipped into the art shop just before it closed and bought three felt tips – chisel tipped at one end, brush pens at the other – and went in search of a subject. In this view of the old Curzon Street railway station behind the Woodman pub drawn on a scrap of brown paper, I almost but not completely missed the point of this technique. My colours were not randomly chosen – by selecting a cool lilac, warm orange and a green I found myself representing the colours I could see. I slipped into using a bit of conte crayon to bring out highlights and darks, pulling the pub forward. Still, it made me think differently.