With my paper etudes going on it’s a great opportunity to get away from the computer screen and use very basic materials in a very instinctive way.
In the development of previous works I used a lot of fine liner drawings, but recently I’ve taken a shine to using brush and ink. Chinese ink on paper scrolls always look like music notation to me in their layout of single brush strokes and delicate use of space.
I’ve visited the V&A’s exhibition on Chinese paintings, back in 2014, and especially liked the very famous ‘Nine Dragons‘ by Chen Rong dating from 1244, in which the supposed main subjects disappear behind or into blank space instead of being celebrated in centre stage as so often happens in Western art. Many other handscrolls show humans who are ‘nothing more than tiny grains of rice’ in the big landscapes. This echoes in myself when I felt the need to move to Pembrokeshire from crowded Lowlands, as an improvement to my need to feel unimportant in vast natural sceneries.
Ironically, when I went to the V&A shop afterwards to buy cards or a book about these fabulous pieces of art, the design team had made a very Western effort to find those ‘little grains of rice’ people on the metres long scrolls to stage them in the main centre focus of each postcard – depicted bigger than their actual size. Ha! So, anyway, ink on paper. These early try-outs are more drawings than scores yet. #paperpianoétudes
I like this one very much. What I see in it is the power of the volcanic rocks the cliffs around my house are made of, with a few plants growing on it which are bashed about by the power of the wind.