Waiting for a train at Moor Street Station, I peer through the fencing across an partly-lit yard. The building on the right hosts the Taboo theatre, “an independent cinema with two screens showing adult themed movies, with a secure car park and snack bar”. Behind is the elevated level with railway tracks that run away under us to flashy new New Street Station. Behind and above that is the freeway and the line of buildings, college, hotels and flats.
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.