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Thanks to David Penny for scaling up this drawing! Initially it was reduced in size from the original sketch, which gave it (and others like it) another character altogether. Now the character/ flavour has changed again, and these fairly quick sketches, from a mixture of observation and sub-conscious doodling, are being put onto a pedestal.

I really think the drawings will be playing a part in the much larger paintings, but they seem to also exist very nicely as separate things. There’s a strength in the simplicity and freshness. Strange how it can be difficult to be simple or straightforward.

I was hearing Alan Watts talk about Zen and ‘polar thinking’. I had been aware a little bit of this sort of thing, but it reminded me that I seem to include a certain amount of it in the paintings – an awareness (fairly instinctive) of the blank paper and how the negative spaces aren’t just nothing, they are something. This aspect of the human mind that seems to be sensitive to absences as well as presences interests me, but I wonder if it is the same as how we ‘fill in blanks’ or invent or distort the world that we see or sense around us.

On a more practical slant, the next ‘job’ is to develop this new large painting on paper in readiness for some high quality photographing of half a dozen pieces in the next few weeks. There is also a lot of drawing/loose sketching on the agenda (because it seems as though there can be a wealth of ‘important information’ in a variety of simple, basic pencil marks) and thoughts of exploring printing (a development of the reducing and enlarging of the drawings), and other stuff that might either be irrelevant to my work or might be exciting, but either way, simplicity is always elluding me (the ‘attraction of distraction’ (Brian Tracey)?).

Hedge Train Thing