Straight lines curved lines horizontal lines even vertical lines


It was bound to happen all this obsessing with the horizon and I have duly finished two paintings, at least drawings in graphite on paint on canvas, but at least my lines are attempting to subvert the horizontal.

After a week of running around I finally spent the whole day in the studio on Thursday and got some interesting work done.  Two big drawings and two smaller ones, on Arches Hot press with ruled lines in various weights of pencil, which as they went seesawing down the paper created a curve of unstable horizon.  Not quite where I want to be with this yet, need a darker tone somewhere, but getting there, and I am a little uncomfortable with the geometry.


On Tuesday I went to Achill Island.  I thought I would never get there it seemed to take forever and on the journey there I found the landscape disappointing.  Very flat in places, just endless bog really, auburn ferns and dark pine forests. Then I started to see mountains in the distance and gradually I entered Mountain country. They were semi-circles of hills with close-cropped red sides, sheep everywhere wandering on and off the road mostly the wrong side of the wire that was supposed to contain them. The landscape started to change, more trees and to my right water, but lake not sea. The trees, as if sculpted by the elements were flat topped and bent double like some ancient whose spine long ago gave up trying to support its body.  The surface of the road bent so the car moved more like a small boat on a choppy sea than wheels rolling on tarmac. Finally I crossed the bridge at Achill Sound which leads onto the Island and took the Atlantic route around the bottom right of the Island.  As I climbed the scenery became more and more spectacular.  There was a low mist masking the base of the hills across the water so that they looked as if they were floating, disembodied, above the surface of the sea.  The road now dropped away in slopping grassy mounds away down towards the cliffs below making me very conscious that one missed bend would send me hurtling over the edge.  The road was often only one car wide, so nowhere to go.  At what seemed the top I stayed a while and did some drawing, it was so warm and beautiful that I was tempted to contemplate the concept of nature and the sublime!  But also to ask myself if beauty is suspect?  I wondered what other people had stood there and surveyed this deceptively calm and safe landscape.  Undoubtedly many tourists but many others; fishermen, tenant farmers, who do not look at it for its beauty primarily but for the information it offers them.  Coming down I negotiated a couple of very tight hairpin bends where  the camber of the road was all askew.  I stopped at a beach which was clean and the water crystal clear, so that  Gigi could .have a run.  I had already taken her up into the scrubby cliffs at the top, which she loved, no doubt smelling game and hooded crows, which were everywhere.


Notes from my sketchbook


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One Response to “Straight lines curved lines horizontal lines even vertical lines”

  1. Annemarie Tickle Says:

    Hi, I really like you Horizons drawings and sketchbook work. I have found it inspiring and feel it has a connection with my own practice. I look forward to seeing the rest of your blog. Annemarie

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