Drawing and Control

This creative project finds me flipping forward, back, sideways and up in the process of exploring, experimenting and reflecting… and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  I had thought it would be great to blog LOADS about EVERYTHING, but finding quiet to simply be IN the process (the good, bad and ugly) has felt more important.  This is where the question of control comes in. When to control, when to not, how much/little… I have not found it easy to relinquish control over the quality of work produced, over the last few weeks where the inner voice has been particularly loud. Inspired by the Writing and Control weekend at Arnolfini in February, I have been exploring this in relation to image making.

Playing with the process of drawing became my starting point after visiting the Drawn exhibition at RWA Bristol.  Knowing that I have all of the ideas, feeling, thoughts and insights around a subject flying around constantly within me, I decided to focus on finding making process based inspiration to take my work forward.  The previous post had been inspired by the simple mark making of drawing, and I was extremely surprised by the range of work and approach to the process “drawing” at the exhibition.

The first artist who caught my eye was Peter Matthews and his work “4 Hours in the Atlantic Ocean, England”  This beautiful, energetic, intricate and layered documentation of experience fascinated me.  As much as I have been aware of, and slightly dabbled with, the documentation of experience through drawing this opened my eyes to the unique and personal ways in which this can be done.

Four Hours In the Atlantic Ocean, England, 2010 full image website

I also came across Debbie Locke‘s Drawing Machine in the super fun interactive lab part of the exhibition.  Her Rucksack Drawings particularly struck a chord, as they curiously documented the experience of journeying.  I have since been back to meet with the lovely Debbie and hear how she makes her various drawing machines and the enthusiasm and ideas behind her passion to explore this.  This was really fascinating and inspiring.

rucksack walk1

Debbie Locke – Rucksack Walk

With all of fermenting in me I have spent the last two weeks experimenting with documenting journey’s various handmade drawing boxes and processes.  It’s become quite the delicious obsession!

The most interesting and exciting part of this development has been the element of taking and relinquishing CONTROL while making, journeying and indeed living.  How much control do we need when drawing? How does this feel for us?  How does taking our unusual obsessions out of the home and into public do to us?

I shall post up images of the various stages of the drawing boxes, and images of what came out, over the next week.


Another GREAT find these last few weeks is Mr Michael Nobbs and his Sustainably Creative website, books, inspirations and all round loveliness.  Having found a pot of juicy things to explore at Drawn, I was returning back to Keri Smith and her “Artist’s Survival Kit” for some fun, playful and not-too-serious starting points (note to self – aspiring to have gallery ready work within 2 weeks is not going to help with STARTING anything…) I found Michael’s Twitter page.

Following this, and a scout around his website, I fell in creative love with his approach to “one small thing a day to move your creative life on a little” and bought his “Drawing Your Life” book and signed up to my free months subscription of his website.  Receiving daily podcasts and snippets of inspiration on how to break creative projects down, keep things small and step by step and find the beauty in the every day to begin… Well, it has refreshed a wisdom in me that knows little and often is the great way forward, and this feels so very joyful and delicious. Thank you Michael!




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