Dear Cleo 17 07 27

Dear Cleo

I hope you are well. I was speaking to nana Bet on the phone, I sent her a copy of your school report, she was so proud of you and she thinks you are going to be a genius just like your Granddad. The apples don’t fall far from the tree, it was Newton who observed that, look him up on google, he was real smart.

There is an essay in the catalogue of the Raphael exhibition I went to in Oxford that extols the virtues of the hand and Raphael’s hand in particular in its sweetness and grace of movement, all but comparing his hand to a ballerina. The essay argues quite thoughtfully that it is the hand alone that is responsible for our evolution as the dominant species on the planet.

The exercises so far in this part of the course have emphasised this fact, it is the hand that makes the mark and if it is uncontrolled by the eye and the brain, or relatively so, it is graceful in its movements.

When I put a drawing or painting out there it is interpreted by the eyes and brains of the audience, it follows therefore that I should subjugate my eye and my brain to follow and interpret the marks made by my hand and not chain my hand to my eye and brain as a slave.

Figure 1 (17 07 27 01) SK 69

Drawing with sticks and pool cues has helped standing further away from the piece but it also got me to thinking, why don’t I use my arm to draw? I paint at an easel so why not draw at an easel. Working loosely from an A5 sketch I made at Newmarket races and using my whole arm and shoulder and moving my feet as well, I created this;

Figure 2 (17 07 27 02) Exodus, XL charcoal on A2 grey sugar paper

From the final eye level that has developed I must have been sitting on a horse or a camel following the Arc of the Covenant when I drew this rather than standing in the back of the Tattershall Stand.

I said I was working loosely from the sketch as my hand is bereft of eyes and it just wandered about on the end of my arm over the picture plane, I wonder if I could do it blindfold I am definitely going to give it a go.

I really enjoyed doing this and am very pleased with the result, it is a history drawing with a very old masterly feel, the Academy will be pleased.

Don’t forget to look up the Newton guy on Google, I will ask you questions about him at the weekend.

My love as always

Mickos x