Today and yesterday I have been experimenting with pencils, paints and ink... it has seemed difficult to find the time to do this recently and it has been a delight. However I haven't found it easy to slip back into this way of working... it requires a lot of concentration and the ability to ignore distractions in a way that sewing or embroidery, a slower, ploddier process, does not. To keep the rhythm of ideas going is something I'm no longer used to, it doesn't come easily, but I'm determined to persist and break through whatever barrier it is that prevents the flow.
I've set myself a project of experimental mark-making... just seeing what I can do with a limited range of media and a restrained palette of colour. I'm using only pencil, rubber, ink and gouache in white, black and blue-grey and whatever paper comes to hand. I'm deliberately restricting myself to dealing with line and shape only - circles and simple forms - and seeing what happens, with no particular goal other than the eventual production of a sort of toolkit with which to be more productive and directional in the future. Each 'drawing' is quite brief and direct and this approach has allowed me to amass a big pile of ideas about the quality of line, form and texture.
One thing I had to start training myself to overcome almost immediately was a real, physical panic that welled up as I began to pencil in areas I had drawn... it was a sort of fear of time passing by, of the need to rush, to produce, to achieve quickly... everything seemed to be so slow... it has been really good to keep reminding myself that quality work takes time, that it's ok, just breathe, just keep going...
I feel very positive about this change of direction... I am excited about the possibility of at last producing some paper work that I am pleased with, and with developing my skills both technical and psychological to enable me to move on with this. I hope to be able to post more of my experiments and doodles over the next weeks... come back and see.