I hate people seeing my work before it’s done. It goes through so many stages where it doesn’t bear any resemblance to how I know the final piece will look. When a drawing is finished, and I can put down my pencil and say, “It doesn’t need any more”, I have a huge sense of relief. Because not long ago, I had been worried over the lightness in an area, a transition that was too hard, a line that didn’t look like it belonged…
Making art takes equal parts not worrying if it turns out like crap, and holding back; keeping the animals at bay.
And in the beginning there was light.Â I mostly start with a drawing, which inÂ this case, I did not photograph. Pencil is a fearless medium. Make a good line. A line that defines what it is supposed to define. A line that defines nothing or is not a supporting neighbour, should not be there. There is poetry in drawing. Using only the necessary words, a poem is created as with drawings and line.
Yes. I know. It’s terrible. Yet I felt that if I continued I might save it.
It just got worse. There was no way I could have found the softness I was looking for in the neon mess before me. At some point, no matter what you do, natural selection says, “This one is weak. It must die.”
I started again…
Ooh, at first I felt myself going in the same direction. But doubt does not a good drawing make. I trusted my instincts and continued.
Hair. Ugh, hair. Drawing hair is like doing the dishes, or hunting for your own meat. You don’t want to but you have to. I wish I could find joy in hair. Mostly it is a chore that must be gotten to and not overdone.
There is a time in a drawing. When I know I am close. When I feel I’ll never be done. That’s when I leave. I hang and walk away. I’ll take a picture of it and go get a drink of water, a snack, stretch my legs. I will often start on something else at that point. A mother animal ensuring the survival of the species by having more than one child.
Generally, I will come to some sort of agreement with myself about what needs to be done to complete it. As we are drawn to the imperfections in art, we are also drawn to unfinished spaces, as we are apt to finish a tune that was begun.
Reading the last page of a good book. Watching the last episode of a favorite tv show… Everything ends and new things are always beginning. The lull and buzz of life in between lives.
The pause between an exhale and an inhale.