As I am working I am also wandering.

The wandering is important. It is meditative. It happens many times during the making of a work.

There are things to explore: the sensuality of the medium, the subtleties of my subject, the light, the shade, the tensions…..

The drawing meditation forever alters my relationship with a place or thing.

When I draw I more or less feel my way around a thing, imagining how it would be to touch it, to feel the texture and the recesses and protrusions as if I were moving my hand over and around it. Time loses all meaning.

The author Phillip Pullman puts it so succinctly and elegantly when he says: ‘Drawing helps us see better. We never look at anything with so much attention as when we’re drawing it, and it’s a thinking attention, comparing this shape with that, the breadth of a hand with the span of the glass it’s holding, the darkness of that shadow with the brown of the velvet curtain, the foliage of that silver birch with the quite different leaves of the hornbeam beside it. Learning to draw is learning to see much more vividly and clearly.’

Meriel Hoare in her life drawing classes used to talk of having received a ‘gift’ when a weekend of intense work would produce a single mark that had a truth about it. What she was talking about was that moment when heart, eye and hand are all perfectly synchronised and the mark that results, however small, truly captures that unity.

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