But it was clear I could easily think my way into stasis and after an encouraging chat with my good friend and art mentor Pete Sanders I felt encouraged just to loosen up and try a few things: in particular, some collage. So first session, spent the morning putting together a collage with torn up pieces of cardboard, and one of my first lino cuts. It was satisfying and indeed suggested one way forward. It had a feel of those English abstract landscapes that I admire and aspire to:
The other direction I have been pursuing has been the very traditional type of research which is merely to do a lot of closely observes pencil and pen drawings of skulls of various kinds. Started at the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of surgeons, where I spent time on a tiger skull:
The close observation is always good and also finding the appropriate mark making to render the detail is also valuable. I am trying to focus my attention on fragments, looking for the shapes and the formation that lie below them. In one sense forcing myself to explore the abstract potential.
Back in class I took some of those sketches and went in another stage. Here is a close up study of a filigree segment of the skull: