Finding a back story

Sometimes I do a drawing and know there is a story there, but I don’t know what it is, until something happens and light dawns, and the story develops. Without a story there is no title. This small drawing was done as a result of an exercise, and I loved its strangeness, but didn’t know what the story was. Then an exhibition cropped up with the theme of Bull in a China Shop, to be interpreted in any way you wish. This was the ah ha moment. There is horror in the wide eye, disaster has happened somewhere and maybe even created this strange creature. So the title became ‘After the China Shop Incident’. What that incident was is now in the hands (and imagination) of the viewer.

Some technical info – this is miniature size, 8 x 9 cm, but does not strictly qualify as a miniature as the head is too big, it should be no more than 38 mm from chin to crown. It is drawn in graphite pencil on hot pressed Arches paper. It is a ‘found’ image in a way. I cut a profile shape out of a piece of paper, then used it as a mask randomly on magazine pictures. The actual image underneath was an ivory Chinese dog, upside down. The drawing shares the dog’s eye, but the other way up. The background developed from shapes in the head. I liked the rather creepy inside-out look.

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The final sketches from Kangaroo Island

Finally home again, I have scanned the last few sketches from my trip. The diary is almost up-to-date, and there are a couple more objects to draw, but this will do for now. I have a box with a few objects I collected at the end, some gum nuts and shells and a crab claw – things to draw later, but they might not see the light of day as the crab claw was still a little too fresh …

Besides the large A4 sized sketchbook, I carried a small one in my backpack for sketches on the move, so I will include some here – they were quick pen and ink drawings, so on some I made colour notes and added the colour later, before the images slipped from my memory.

The next step will be sorting all the information I have gathered, and start some artworks inspired by everything I have seen.

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