10. Finality & Off-Shots – Part 2

Having spent over forty hours engaged in the layered and increasingly complex material and techniques within the 50-hour drawing resulted in a need to simplify things. I had reached a point where the drawing/mark-making was feeling a little contrived – I was no longer within the drawing as I had been previously. The experience of this moment made me understand precisely what had been taking place: the drawing had become part of me; it was a living, breathing entity subject to unknown forces. A narrative had formed within it, partly due to conversations and responses between different marks and partly because of its growth and subsequent evolution.

I have little understanding of how this lack of spontenaity suddenly arose. I can only assume that because I was beginning to repeat marks, shapes and patterns that it was no longer feeling vibrant and had become more about the conscious effort to achieve balance and composition. Admittedly I can see that more is needed in certain areas, I understand what is working and what is not – in this respect the drawing could continue beyond its allocated time. The question then arises: When is a drawing finished? I know that this drawing could grow and I also know that it could benefit from considered contraction. I also know that, for now, it is time to stop.

For some time I had been considering honing the drawing down to its basic elements – creating a simple linear copy, a pared down graphic language to describe the piece.


Tracing a print of one the Photoshop experiments felt as if I was creating a simplified summary of a moment in history – communicating an idea in its most basic terms. This process of creating copies, altering and tracing holds endless possibilities and alludes to an illusion of history and fragmented memory.


Returning back to the beginning, to how the drawing had started out, I once again considered the meditative line of breath and pulse to create a trace of the image. With this came the consideration of writing/text moving from left to right and of the movement of printing and scanning. I had become a machine plotting data, responding to marks depending on their density and rhythm.

Observing the results I was struck by a question: Could this be the 50-hour drawing? For this would not exist without all that had gone before. And somehow this felt more complete.



Remnants & Debris…

remnants  remnants2



2 thoughts on “10. Finality & Off-Shots – Part 2

  1. Hi Matt,
    just got your invite, but have been ‘following’ you for a while already.
    Just a small comment, – scale. This last image looks really good on the screen, or at a roughly A4 – A3 size, but would it be able to translate to the size of the original? I feel that the sense of text, which is really rich, might be lost maybe…


    1. Thanks for the comment. It’s an interesting thought and certainly one to consider, although possibly quite difficult and time consuming to achieve. Perhaps I could combine a number of sheets of tracing paper and overlay original, which is something that I had intended to do a while ago. Thanks again.


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