Charcoal Drawing (detail), 2019
I started another large scale charcoal drawing at the end of last year (above), and I haven’t touched it since. I have spent a lot of time observing and contemplating the potential held in so much space. I went back to it last week, and I had forgotten how much I enjoy pushing charcoal around on paper. I had placed tape across the three panels when I started the work, and over time the tape has begun to peel away. I decided to leave the tape as is rather than try and ‘fix’ it. Time once again infiltrates the work.
On the subject of time… the current light drawing continues ever so slowly (below) - having only moved maybe 1/8 of the way down the 2m long sheets of paper. This one I am doing slightly differently to the others in the series. I see this as a form of practice, whereas I had previously seen this series as an experiment in drawing. After years of experimenting, I am confident I now know what I want to do with the technique. I have a vision of how this will eventually play out. Patience is required as I need to make a lot of these drawings before the idea eventuates.
Over time the process has become more of a meditation on the breath, pace and now endurance. A test of psychological pain thresholds as I endeavour to sit still in a cross-legged meditation position for as long as possible while making this current drawing. I started with being able to sit still for just 20-minutes before I had to move. I am now up to 1hour 30-minutes before it becomes unbearable to sit in the position any longer. It is interesting the tricks your mind starts playing on you at around the 45-minute mark. It must be said, that I am really pushing it to get to 1:30 and it is definitely not possible every day - some days it is just 30min before my mind wins and I convince myself I need to move. But the record is 1:30 for now. My goal is 12hours...I am not sure how that is even possible, but I am aiming for the impossible because the possible bores me. Besides, I am pretty sure there are monks out there that can sit in meditation for 12 hours - I just need to find out how they do it. I suspect practice and patience are the key.