I am not-drawing

I am not-drawing these last few months.

These are the few sketches that have slipped through.  On holiday, I had some hours walking the Devon clifftops on my own, not-drawing, looking at the size and shapes of eroded rocks, their highlights and shadows, and the kestrel plummeting down the cliff face and skimming the beach.  Eventually I stopped not-drawing in pen and conte crayon.

Some days earlier at Tintagel castle, I stopped not-drawing for a while looking down into the rocky bay.

A girl, about 7, called Charlotte, came to watch (with parents).  I suggested to her that the way to draw was just to believe you can, look and feel, and put the marks on the paper that seem right.  I gave her my pad, graphite stick and crayons and she drew.

Today my son went to a youth drama group in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, giving me 90 minutes to wander the empty streets not-drawing the varied buildings in the drizzle.  I drifted to St Paul’s Church and not-drew the gnarled trees in the graveyard.  I called in at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and viewed their Next Wave final exhibition.  I was taken by Clare Pentlow‘s paper cut sculpture, made of waves of small projections which could carry data like an old printout from a Sangar sequence Yasmin Bowle‘s etched metal plates showing a formative images of gender stereotyped roles from the 1960s with pattern instructions for restrictive corsetry.  The intimacy of Emily Sparkes‘ painting I Sleep contrasted with her frankly disturbing pastiche of EH Shepard’s drawings, HUIINY.  I think she also painted my favourite piece Froot, which is nowhere referenced on the internet, in which pieces of fruit are painted in a picture encyclopedia format, described in corrupted text speech in terms showing increasingly bizarre anthropomorphism.

In the last fifteen minutes before returning to the theatre, I found myself not not-drawing in a small pad in ink and raindrops.