This is my first attempt at a finished portrait. Others have just been quick sketches from life drawing classes or with family.
I have no painting materials here with the lockdown. The oils, acrylics and brushes are all in Suffolk, so I’m reduced to what I have – ink with coloured pencils and a large roll of Wickes wallpapering paper.
Somehow these restrictions take the preciousness out of making art. The ‘make do’ nature of materials and production are liberating as it is okay not to be perfect.
Working for a long time on one drawing is revelatory. As you make progress you keep discovering things that are wrong with it and not properly resolved. In the time between waking and sleeping the whole perception of the image can change. It is like the well worn phrase about learning – the more you learn the more you realise how little you know – and it’s the same with drawing.
Below is a gallery snap-shot of the images prepared earlier and more recently to help make the finished drawing.
This is the fourth time I’ve tried to capture this view. The colours look too bright, as if I’ve applied my recent colour theory tuition to the extreme. As a reminder, please see the earlier versions below:
The ride up to Hull from Peasenhall was good. The cargo bike worked well to carry my painting and camping gear and to get around Hull on the couple of days I was there.
The campsites were invariably occupied by big cars, caravans, camper homes and lean-to walk in tents. There were no other cyclists or walkers travelling light. Often I was given unasked for advice about my route or the state of the traffic but always from the perspective of a driver. I began to feel a certain dislocation as I realised these other campers knew nothing of the way I was travelling. I would watch many of them sitting inside their camper van boxes with the glow of a television on, wondering why they might want to do this, shutting themselves off from the sky and land around them?
The above vehicle combination was driven and occupied by a single man. He sat inside the small caravan all evening. The windows had curtains, just like any suburban home, which he proceeded to close when he put on the lights, shutting out the coming evening stars and fresh air.