Thursday, 22 May 2008

The moment of awe

Sometimes when I'm drawing or painting I create, usually without intention, a line or shape or tone that stops me and shocks me. There is something suddenly so beautiful that I feel almost breathless and kind of scared by what has happened. Do other artists experience this?

Having stopped, it feels risky to restart because what produced the awe will disappear as soon as I make another mark. Inevitably I do start again and lose it. Perhaps I should stop at that point and keep those pictures?

This moment of awe occurred in the Giacometti workshop when I put the first marks of the model's face on to the charcoal ground. As you can see, I didn't leave it there - I produced a somewhat wooden picture several hours later!

Of all the pictures I drew that weekend, I really only liked the jug on its plinth, alone in the studio.

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