Dear Cleo 18 01 21

Dear Cleo

I had a great day yesterday playing with you and Auburn and Little Women was a better film than I thought it would be before you made me watch it.

Today’s consideration is time, specifically time in relative to drawing.

A small drawing in my A6 sketchbook rarely takes more than a minute or two, but that doesn’t include the looking, the sifting of the scene to decide which part of the scene is worthy of record or might grow into a painting someday. The looking and selecting takes the time, sometimes I can look for a whole evening before making a two minute sketch and sometimes I make a two minute sketch as drawing practice just because I need it, it is then that the sketch takes 2 minutes.

With regard to looking at the sketches, I suppose I am the one that looks at them more than most, contemplating, wondering how to make them grow into a painting, photographing them to put them on the blog and flicking through them to find the next page in the sketchbook. I have never been guarded with my sketchbooks and willingly hand them over to anyone who is interested, looking at them afresh to answer the questions, Where is that? or When was that?

My tutors look at the sketches, I presume looking for the rawness of my creativity, sometimes they seem to find it, other times not, for every sketch I have an opinion on, others have a different opinion.

The viewers to my blog see my sketches, the stats tell me so, but what the stats don’t tell me is how long a visitor spent looking at a piece of my work, time it seems is relegated to a click on the internet, the internet deals with clicks and not contemplation. I can hardly blame them, I suppose, I myself have visited major artists retrospectives in museums in less than two hours, but that of course excludes the research I do before I go, when I get there I have no need to read the writing on the walls, but only to confirm the nuances of brushstrokes tone and colour, only with knowledge can you look fast.

My other favourite mode of drawing is at A2 size, here the problem gets harder. I used my assignment 2 piece as a Christmas card, so including me, the tutor, the printer, the viewers on the blog and the people who received one and displayed it in their homes over the Christmas period, it is probably my most viewed drawing of all time, I have had only two requests for a copy from people who never received one in the first place, for a limited of fifty prints that is not a good take up but the drawing took only ten minutes in the first place. I am reminded that Picasso considered a drawing required a lifetime of experience regardless of the time involved in its execution.

Technique has a lot to play in the length of time it takes to do a drawing, careful rendering of a form can take many hours, but they are hours that never seem to drag, measured only by the empty wine glass, the empty packet of cigarettes or a feeling of hunger or sleep.

The life drawing class is the Olympics of art, you rush through ten second poses, thirty second poses five minute poses, ten minute poses and to take us into the break, a thirty minute pose. By the time the coffee break comes, everyone is so exhausted, including the model, that everyone takes in excess of half an hour to drink a single cup of coffee before returning sloth like to the life room, the second half is invariably a lying down pose so that the model can doze and be the least tired person in the building.

I have had drawings on the easel or next to the easel for weeks searching for the next move or direction. I think that if more thinking had been done prior to commencement, these drawings would roll easier through the production line or at least not glare malevolently from the easel, making you fear entering the studio.

You have probably guessed by now, that I do not equate time with creativity, creativity = however long it takes, after all Leonardo spent a lifetime creating the Mona Lisa and Van Gogh spent a few years doing thousands of paintings, each to his own. I am content to create enough work to pass this course well, I can tell already that time is not a major factor of my process and the course is telling me it needs to be. I feel another challenge coming on, Challenge accepted.

Regardless of anything else you are definitely going to watch a Star Wars movie next weekend, with or without me (TM U2)

Love as always

Mickos xx