DRAW THE LINE…

and how less can be much more

Lady Dozing (Rhodes old Town) – 1983 – pencil on paper

For reasons far too mundane to go into here, the next couple of months are going to be among the busiest and most frenetic for quite a while, and hence I will have far less time than usual to devote to these posts – at least in written form. Thus, for most, if not all of the next half-dozen or so offerings, I will revert to primarily presenting series of images, hopefully, linked by some kind of theme.

Boy Jumping off Diving Board – 1978 – pen on paper

In keeping with this temporary minimalist expedience, I present here a series of my old line drawings, ranging roughly across a couple of decades, from about 1976 to the mid 90’s.

Macedonian Hipparchy at Issus (after Dali) – 1980 – pen on paper

A tutor at Harrow School of Art once told me that “the line is the foundation stone of picture making…master the line and everything else will follow. She added that “artists who fail in this are like musicians attempting to compose tunes without being able to read music…”.

Resting Girl – 1978 – pen on paper

It was a simple message, and all the more powerful for that, and one which stuck with me ever since – its truthfulness being self-evident. Then, when I taught for a while myself, I would begin every class with at least an hour of line drawing exercises, to the point where it drove some of my students to distraction. However, they would invariably tell me when we met up years later, how much they now appreciated, ironically, the freedom and confidence this grounding had given them to develop their artistic styles, however figurative or abstract.

Dido at Work – 1993 – pen on paper

But, apart from anything else, and continuing the musical analogy, the simple line drawing, when done well, offers so much in and of itself in a way similar to how a piano sonata, or a string quartet, may express a deep intimacy and subtle power, lacking in a massive orchestral work. And, hopefully, the selection of doodles here give some idea of what I’m talking about – all very much “quiet, solo instrumental pieces”…

Luis – 1992 – pen on paper
Walking Man – 1978 – pen on paper
Dido Writing – 1993 – pen on paper
Harry Bending a Rod – 1979 – pen on paper
Promenading at Colmar – 1985 – pen on paper
On the Via Dolorosa – 1978 – pen on paper

4 thoughts on “DRAW THE LINE…

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