Making Your Mark

Salt-Lashed Tree

I don’t know who described drawing as ‘taking a line for a walk’?  However, it is not the whole story.  The way you ‘make marks’ is just as much a signature as writing your own name, and the more you develop this skill the more distinguished that signature becomes.  Painting is merely an extension of the drawing process where a whole lot more options are played out.  Generally, a new series of work starts off with drawings of some sort, anything from a scribbled idea, some words to accompany a quick sketch to a polished, finished piece of work.  Picasso said that every child is an artist, and in some way, I believe that it is this child-like quality of unfettered expression – free from self-criticism, doubt or peer pressure – that artists often tap into in the creative process, particularly in the early phases where ideas are being explored.  It is where you show your true colours – the playground for artistic improvisation –  as ideas are put through their paces, flexed and stretched, pushed and pulled about and experimented with.  The results can either be accepted or rejected, nothing lost, but everything to play for.  I equate this ‘playfulness’ with writing a diary.