The drawings are where I begin to understand the work; where I start to feel a grasp on both the subject matter and the ideas swirling around as the work develops. These pieces are guided by the relevant interests but are not at all bound by them. There is an energy so immediate and available in both the act and the presentation; they do not strive to speak in specificities but only to exist as markers of the thought process. They leak out, or slip through in a way that quite eludes my efforts to describe it.
Drawing is where my mind wanders and is allowed to explore outside of measurements, plans and particulars. These pieces are where the subject of the boat becomes the most symbolic. In the absence of any human presence the boat can be seen as representative of the human condition. It is the shadowy place of the dream-world; the longing, the balance, imbalance or the vessel that catches hold of both beauty and decline. The dark shadows are the gap, the outlines suggest a past, a remnant or a connection. The coral, tentatively outlined but perhaps not completely present, suggests the risk the ocean beings are in and other sea life fills or hangs on to the boat shapes representing how intertwined humanity is to the sea and its life giving creatures.
In the Row the Boat Out series, the images unfold and link quite organically to one another. The paper becomes warped and the paint is pulled into the valleys of the surface, having used graphite paint and vellum in a process of letting the materials do their own thing. There is a little bit of magic in this; the artist’s hand is apparent, but so too is the will of the material itself.
A form of meditation and observation, I consider drawing to be the foundation of my art practice.