Take your imagination for a walk.

83_Wheelie_2

There aren’t many drawings here in my collection that are based fairly and squarely on actual, real machines. The bike in the picture today is probably as close as I’ve got in some time to depicting an actual bike. On the one hand this is down to the fact that I find “copying” from reference material a rather dull activity, and on the other it has a lot to do with keeping my imagination fed, watered and happy. Those of us who enjoy documenting the wonderful world around us through image making most likely occupy an area similar to that found between the two intersecting circles of a Venn diagram, where the real and imaginary overlap, and each image is a result of varying percentage combinations of the contents of those two circles. For me the ratio feels very much tipped in favour of imagination but, sometimes I wonder whether this is actually the case. What is my imagination up to during the process of making an image such as this one above? Is it actually creating anything or is it busy bending a set of reality based frameworks, and blending those with a healthy dose of embedded knowledge to create something which my  eye is happy with? I’m not sure, but it’s an interesting question all the same.

 

Generally speaking, an active imagination is a happy one, and though we all know that this isn’t always the case, learning to feed it with good stuff is an important life lesson. The pleasure though, in this activity, is that it seemingly has no problem propelling itself along at a fair old clip when it’s found something to get its teeth into, and for me this is where reality plays it’s biggest role, in influencing the choices my imagination makes and providing the fuel for the journey. This is one of the key reasons why these pictures come out the way they do. My imagination needs not only to bear creative fruit but also has to have something to distort, to have fun with in order to function properly. It’s a strong urge and one I’m almost powerless to resist, so most of the time I don’t try to. But there is some control involved somewhere as it doesn’t just run wild all the time. Perhaps it is like a kind of dog, look after it, feed it properly and give it regular exercise and it stays a loyal and rewarding companion.

 

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Is it now a painting?

Finally got around to putting the finishing touches to this one the other evening and so wanted to get it up on the blog as soon as possible. As much as I like the final result, it’s proving difficult to decide what to say about it today other than to ask the question, “is it now a painting?”

Certainly the character of the image is completely different, the starkness of the ink drawing is replaced by a softness afforded by the colour treatment. What’s also interesting is that even though a stronger connection to reality is forged with the addition of colour, it has also brought a stronger emphasis to some of the more comic elements.

The purpose of the exercise however was not to set up some kind of competition between the two images, more to explore how colour would effect the final outcome and to get my rusty painting hand back into action. Some details proved easy and enjoyable to do whilst others remained a challenge, so there is still work to do before getting to that point where one is confident in creating what your minds eye can see, on the page in front of you. They say that in order to truly become an expert at something you must practice it for something like ten thousand hours, quite a way to go if expertise is the goal. Thankfully it is not, well not yet anyway, re-learning to play with some colour media is. So there will be more of these.

Enjoy the view.