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Painting is for fun and drawing is like writing.

Updated: Jun 13, 2022

I have imagined myself as a sculptor, or, a renderer. I imagine that painting is like building, only not in the round. More old fashioned ways of painting may seem more three dimensional than what I do. In a portrait, the shadows fall back and protruding areas of the nose and brow reach forward, caked with layers. I always understood this ‘forward building’ method of painting more so than watercolour, where the lightest areas are left blank and the shadowed areas are worked in to, it is much more like creating a relief, or reaching into a world through a window. I have trouble translating my 3D sculptural (painting) training onto the cotton.

I had a conversation with my masters supervisor recently about what the paintings are for and what the drawings are for. I was saying that I can't work on a drawing if I feel like painting, and can't paint if I just want to sit down and draw. They require different types of energy because they provide me different types of nurturing.

Paintings are for fun, or release, or messy play. Big stuff, chest open stuff. Drawings and works on paper are quiet things. Things for recovery and self nurturing. They're like figuring stuff out things. Getting-my-head-around-it things. More like writing. Sometimes, when I paint too much I feel that weird feeling like I've overshared too much when I got drunk at a party. The next day I have to draw to seal myself back up.

Painting doesn't mean using a paintbrush though, and drawing doesnt mean pencil. Drawing though, is usually only on paper but painting can be either. Maybe the distinction is the size of the work. Or the speed in which it's made....

Thinking about Amy Sillman, Drawing is.... scratching, gouging, scribbling... painting is a vision realised. Could this be the closest anyone has got to pulling the title of 'painter' out of my hands? I'm not a manifestor of visions, I don't have a recipe or a plan for how I want it to look in the end. I'm more like a chipper-awayerer. Lets try this and see-erer.

A lot of my recent paintings have a lot of the drawing still visible - the preliminary drawing is done in dark thick pastel on cotton and kind of turns to paint when it gets wet. It gets imbedded into the surface and the transperant paints don't cover it.

Silence / Violence. The same picture made as a drawing and as a painting.

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