Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Distinctions Between Drawing and Painting

For me painting and drawing are almost indivisible. The place between drawing and painting is a rich territory for exploration and the dialogue between the traditional languages has been a line of enquiry in my practice for the last five years. I find rigid definitions about painting and drawing restrictive and unnecessary.

I made a deliberate choice to work in charcoal in the second year of a painting degree because I felt that it was the best way to explore the subject matter of my work. I have developed a highly disciplined process that progressively eliminates the ground so that the image covers the paper entirely. The deliberate negation of line is achieved through the modeling of volumetric masses using tonal variation as an alternative to linear contour, resulting in an atmospheric quality not usually attributed to the graphic nature of drawing. My drawings are also unusual in that the image entirely covers the surface in contrast to the accepted definition of drawing which leaves large areas of the surface exposed, placing the work closer to traditional painting than drawing. The paintings aspire to the condition of drawing in that they are monochromatic and made alla prima using the ground to achieve tonal variation.

Although drawing is now considered to be a primary activity and is recognised as a stand-alone medium by the avant-garde most dealers and buyers still make the distinction that ‘drawing = quick preparatory sketch for a painting’ which is reflected in the price for ‘works on paper’. However, the distinction based on the type of support has been undermined by developments in acrylic grounds that now make it possible to use oil paint on paper and dry media on canvas or aluminium.

1 comment:

  1. I agree completely. I understand the art world's approach to "works on paper", and I believe that some customers are influenced somewhat by galleries with that attitude. Many seem to feel that if it is oil on canvas, then it must have more value.
    There are plenty of oil paintings out there that apprear to be ideas not fully developed, and could themselves be considered preliminary "sketches" for the finished product. I feel that anyone with fine art experience or who's strongest sense is their visual one, will recognize your pieces as fully realized, beautifully finished works of art.
    Keep up the good work. Tim Fraser, Vancouver, Canada.