I'm close to finishing Rhododendron Frame, which is my provisional title for my latest drawing. As usual I'm pleased with parts of it, and not pleased with others. I like the thundery background and the drama of the blossom contrasted with the slightly contorted branches of the rhododendron, but I guessed I'd have problems with the expanse of dead leaves on the left middle ground. It's pretty bland and it's been a struggle to keep forground from sinking into it or being confused with it. And now, I'm fiddling, of course, in an attempt to regain some of the drama of the contrast between ink and paper which has been lost a little partly because of my greasy hand passing repeatedly over the paper, and partly because of various ineptitudes of execution. I have sped along with this one though begining it the first week in March, so at 6 weeks it's almost sketching speed for me.
I depressed myself thoroughly this week by attempting a brilliant idea I had and instantly failing. So, in order to try to keep my spirits boyant, I've begun another pen and ink drawing on my 'behind bars' theme. I am thinking more and more that I must try and stretch myself, or even revisit other media, but it is simply more convenient for me at the moment, with my time constrained by full-time work, to keep ploughing the same, or developing the same, ground.
I began this one by marking in the barbed wire fence in Payne's Grey Acrylic Ink then working the rest of the drawing in Indian Ink (back to Windsor and Newton for this one). The Payne's Grey doesn't really look much different to the black ink though. A very subtle contrast.
I've been listening a lot to the Titanicfest provided by BBC radio this week. The sinking of that great ship of inequalities, of hope and old fashioned Edwardian decorum still fascinates, as much for all that it embodies of the struggles to come within the next few years, as for morbid fascination. Though morbid fascination is, I admit, pretty potent stuff.