Music, sounds and moving lines


First Nocturne from De Profundus

Third Nocturne from De Profundus

Throughout the summer I made five new large drawings.  They had their genesis in the Unstable Horizon Drawings which I started at Ballinglen in the Autumn of 2010. On Arches hot press paper, the different grades of graphite followed by lines in charcoal, rubbed back with white chalk were working well.   In the smaller scale drawings which I had made leading up to these there was a dramatic range of tones but in the larger drawings I was unhappy about the way the surface of the paper was becoming muddied.  There were no clear white spaces and I was becoming frustrated with the way the materials were performing.  In tandem with the struggle with materials the lines were beginning to take a different direction and to take on a different meaning. Whether it was listening to John Cage and Steve Reich  or slowly working on a Chopin piece  they started to reference the vertical strings of a cello or a piano.  The string idea stuck with me and in working my way around the idea I started working with string and black ink and  creating lines of different thicknesses and resonances related to sound, sometimes attending to the visual composition sometimes listening to pieces of music inside my head.

I was still very concerned with leaving a space at the top right hand side of the paper but now sometimes it was becoming filled with fainter ink lines.  The vertical ‘strings of the imagined instrument were still being crossed in zigzag marks by a movement reminiscent of bowing a stringed instrument.  There is also a reference here to grids and the drawings are becoming more and more grid-like.  Now back in the studio again after a break the music ideas are becoming more insistent and the materials are beginning to perform how I want them to.

Soundscape IV

Selected for the 159th Royal West of England Academy Show in Bristol.


4 Responses to “Music, sounds and moving lines”

  1. B-me Says:

    Very nice pieces! Your work ties in with a lot of my own personal interests in sound and form, I see a lot of similarities in your practice with mine. Feel free to check out my blog, its more of a music blog but I have also posted some of my prints and paintings.

  2. triplebulle Says:

    Really like the last piece. The change of tone between the top left corner and the bottom right reinforce the dynamic of the lines. Love it.

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