Monday, 19 November 2018

On letting go

I've often thought that the process of drawing has similarities with the ups and downs of form experienced by sportspeople. Sometimes things flow effortly, and then at other times it can seem like hard work, when nothing goes as you'd hoped. I was reminded of this while reading On Cricket, a new book by the former England captain and psychoanalyst Mike Brearley. A passage in it refers to playfulness and losing inhibitions:

"... I think that writing, like playing cricket, like, in fact, many activities of life, involves at best a benign sort of marriage between discipline and spontaneity, between hard work and playfulness, between letting go of conscious control and the application of sometimes critical thought."

Of course, it doesn't always work out as you'd like. The playfulness can easily come unstuck. In terms of drawing, that is what sketchbooks can be for: an arena for coming unstuck and being spontaneous, and occasionally, sometimes (and not necessarily in the images included here) an uninhibited zone where you can happily surprise yourself, buoyed up by all that experience, hard work and discipline. And not mind whether they gather two likes on social media or two thousand.

From the top: the view from the top of Tate Modern looking towards Blackfriars Bridge, three scenes from a moving train going to the Midlands from London, and Cornelia Parker's Transitional Object (PsychoBarn) in the courtyard of the Royal Academy, London.