How?

scribble drawing

‘Recent sketch book drawing 12 x 12 cm’

Yesterday, for what must be the umpteenth time over the years, I was asked this question. ’How do you do these paintings if you can’t see very much?’  And in all fairness, it’s a good question to ask ….and a very difficult one to answer, especially when I peer around my studio at the, (for me) fuzzy blobs on the wall that are my paintings, or when I remember just the other day, walking down High Street in Irvine trying to find a shop ….and walking instead into a very solid electrical box mounted on the pavement…..or talking to our cat only to find out I’ve been  talking to my Welly boots!  Yes, it’s a very good question and one that I ask myself sometimes too.

Last evening for instance, I was sat in my rocking chair down at the studio, scribbling away at some small drawings in a sketch book.  I was getting quite frustrated at just how difficult it was getting.  Only a few years ago I could still scribble with a little bit of accuracy using a fine drawing pen.  Now, sat in the same chair with the same size small six inch square sketch book and an 8B graphite pencil I was struggling to make out what I was doing.  But it didn’t matter …..I was still drawing, even if in a slightly different manner from a few years ago.  I could still make out the gist of it and if I photographed the small drawings I could then see them on my computer screen using the screen magnification software…..and if needed, print them up to a size that I could use and see more clearly.

'Recent sketch book drawing 12 x 12 cm

‘Recent sketch book drawing 12 x 12 cm’

Like everything I do these days, it’s just a question of adapting…..of thinking my way around the problem of how to do something rather than stopping because the way I used to work is no longer feasible.

'Recent sketch book drawing 12 x 12 cm

‘Recent sketch book drawing 12 x 12 cm’

So then, the answer to that inevitable question is that over the years I’ve just very gradually adapted my ways of working to the level of sight I have.  My work is as it is, because of this process, but I like to think too, that it is as it is, primarily, because I’m quite good at what I do ….being a painter that is!  The three little scribbled drawings shown here are not me at my best, but they are part of the process that leads to the better work.

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