Ink and acrylic on paper, work in progress

This year I have spent more time at home than ever before. My world has shrunk. And I’ve embraced it! Maybe it is to do with slowing down the pace of life during the first lockdown here in the UK, or more just a settling into where I live.

I seek out interesting vistas in every corner of each room, finding an interest in shadows, differing shades of white tones in the walls, ceilings and floors. Plants, the corner of the fireplace, the sofa, all have exciting compositions collectively. It feels like a simple starting point within which to explore paint, but one which fits the moment. I do not feel like I am painting, just drawing with paint. Maybe to paint is more about layering. But drawing also often feels like a process of layering too.

I had a discussion today about the difference between drawing and painting. For me there feels like a wide, gaping chasm between the two. I primarily use dry drawing media such as willow charcoal, compressed charcoal, pencils, graphite sticks, erasers. To draw using wet media feels alien. I cannot control it like the dry media I am familiar with. When using paint I have to draw in a more considered manner, the brushes slow me down; just simply reloading my brush breaks up my continuity. I paint using my fingers, it feels more indexical, more familiar. I print using paint, to find my way into this weird floppy ‘stuff’. I start a painting using Indian inks to layer up marks, with acrylic inks on top. I monoprint onto the paper, using thinly rolled paint, to find a way to use this new media. I skirt around the edges of paint, until it dawns on me, that painting does not have to be alien or the opposite to drawing. I can just find my own route in through drawing. Phew! The relief is immense!