8 January 2013: Dear London, on working in the studio … day 2

From Baudelaire’s ‘The Painter of Modern Life’, with due thanks to Immy Ash for sending me most of the text: “The majority of artists are no more than highly-skilled animals, pure artisans, village intellects, cottage brains! Their conversation  … becomes very quickly unbearable to the man of the world, to the spiritual citizen of the universe”

Provocative and clever – thanks Immy! I expect Mr Gove would enjoy it at face value, without going on to discover Baudelaire’s delight in Constantin Guys’ work: “The mainspring of his genius is curiosity”.

My first act in the studio, before I started work, was to pin up a 10 metre piece of Fabriano paper along the first (left) wall. This act will give you an idea of the scale of this studio and the challenge/opportunity it presents.

…. I could use this long paper to record what I attempt over these months and I have taken that idea and made a drawing that could become a template. My first, rather tautological, idea for a drawing was to draw the empty studio. Perhaps I can add in work as it populates the walls?

Today was hard work, a physical and psychological effort indeed. I have ‘draughtsman’s shoulder’ after scrubbing away at about 6 metres of the paper with charcoal, oil bar and eraser. If you will bear with me – I am not sure I am ready to show half-finished drawings yet.

The palette remains unmixed. I am looking forward to making paintings originating from people (St Hilda’s) studies, (yesterday’s) and from research. I hope Russell and Chapple will deliver soon.

Tomorrow I must face the studio drawing again and then paint.

“and so away he goes, hurrying, searching. But searching for what?”

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