I missed seeing you and Auburn last weekend and I am looking forward to catching up this weekend I brought you something nice back from Paris which I think you will like.
There was a recall on the Mercedes which meant I had to wait around in Waltham Cross for half a day, it was an ideal opportunity to start to come to grips with project 1. In addition to my trusty A6 sketchbook and pen I took a new red A5 sketchbook and some pencils.
I am quite used to drawing in my A6 sketchbook and no one seems to pay much heed but I reasoned that if the bigger sketchbook was red it would look official and people would pay less heed, this proved to be the case and I sketched untroubled.
The girl at the reception desk in Mercedes directed me to a seat opposite the toilets and it was too good an opportunity to miss. I drew the figures moving by at speed and then drew in heavier the background that wasn’t disturbed by the motion of the figures.
Figure 1 A5 sketch on A5 cartridge paper
The sketch immediately reminded me of Leonardo’s perspective study for the adoration of The Magi and Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase and I resolved to investigate this further when I got back to the studio.
But more than either of those the sketch suggested a stage with actors passing through, this was a theme that was to stay with me throughout the day. There was something about the world being a stage where each and every one of us must play his part (TM Shakespeare/Presley) that kind of gripped me and probably influenced the rest of my sketches.
I did the next sketch in the bar of the Weatherspoon’s while I was waiting for my lunch to be served, as you know there is no music in Weatherspoon’s so I was fairly conscious of the conversations drifting around me when I had finished the sketch, I took a page of the sketchbook and jotted down recurring phrases, as I have said already, I was feeling fairly theatrical and this seemed to fit the mood. Looking at it now it seems to sum up a Weatherspoons on that particular day, I am not good at using words in my creations but maybe I will find a way to distil these particular works into a design that does conjure up a Weatherspoon’s on a cold Tuesday afternoon.
Figure 2 A5 sketch graphite on A5 cartridge
Figure 3 words graphite on A5 cartridge
I had realised that I only needed a brief indication of the figures to establish the perspective of the figures within the stage from observation, the moving figures could be conjured up from memory and imagination with maybe a little help from my lay figures. The stage is the solid part the figures are ephemeral, the emphasis I think of the quote from Shakespeare is on the permanence of the stage and the world and the ephemeral nature of the actors passing through this permanence over time.
It is a bit like life really, these bricks will remain after I am gone, solid, immovable whilst I once ghosted in front of them, your creations will outlive you, whether they be children, buildings or works of art that become increasingly valuable for having exceeded your lifespan, a relic from a former time.
This is getting a bit deep here, and I am sure this must have been debated philosophically by people far cleverer than I but I am just saying.
Figure 4 A5 sketch graphite on A5 cartridge
The last sketch was completed few days later in Farringdon while I was waiting to go to a meeting, you can see how the human presence has been reduced to a few Giacometti like lines to indicate the perspective of the actors that can easily be added later a la Degas.
The stage has time, the actors do not, their time is relatively short, instantaneous in passing through the stage. it is only through the changing of the stage, that a story progresses and is confirmed as a play or an instant as a painting.
Thank you to the Mercedes recall for the opportunity to think clearly about the bigger picture or bigger stage.
That was heavy darling, I hope you made it to the end and I am looking forward to seeing you at the weekend
My love as always