Friday, September 28, 2012

Making Pots for David Attenborough

Sometimes when I'm in the studio I pretend I am making pots for David Attenborough.

 To capture the essence and physicality of a plant, or a bird , or a feather you have to give up thinking about the design and what you think you know exists. There is no "It should go there" in nature.  You have to trust your observational skill and let your eyes relax onto the object of contemplation.  The hand must be ready , a willing tool.  Your own will coming through your hand must be prepared to fade into the background betraying your presence in the drawing with only a tremor or flick of line, your subconscious signature. The role your own personality plays in the observation of nature is in the germination of interest in something hidden or overlooked.  Once the eyes and hands are engaged it is your task to just observe, look closely.  Open your brain so it is free from assumption to see what is in front of your eyes.

Once you look like this, other things, human things, metaphors, stories and legends begin to attach themselves to the subject, sometimes they are not the ones you would expect.  Sometimes the old legends attached to what you thought was a familiar subject are surprising and meaningful  even though they are exactly what you expected, the looking has filled them with new life.

Would DA appreciate  the addition of and extra vein on a leaf for "balance"? No he would not.  Anthropomorphizing subjects leads to mistaken conclusions in both art and science.