So busy I found it hard to remember

#Letter365 No154 gets posted in bright sunshine
No154 gets posted in the pueblos blancos of St Andrew’s Road

When I saw the photo above I did think of the pueblos blancos of Spain, that harsh light on whitewashed walls, but really there are no Spanish houses in St Andrew’s Road. Bridport and the sun, though warm, was not as harsh as southern Spain. It is just one of those post boxes set into the side of a whitewashed Dorset house.

I have been busy again today with planning and preparations for the show in Ramsgate, plus the added excitement of selling an ink drawing to someone in the United States this evening. So when I came to write this post I found it hard to remember what I had done for #Letter365 only 9 or 10 hours ago! Part of the reason might also be the process of creation. I went to the studio wanting to do some work on a piece in progress as well as my #Letter365. When I got there, in quite a fired-up state, I found that I had left two sketchbooks open as reminders of things I wanted to develop. One of these was the long drawing I had been planning to do in a Moleskine concertina book. Making the first mark on a pretty expensive piece of paper or book is at times a pretty scary act and I had been sort of putting it off. Today I was up for it. I was full to overflowing with what I wanted to make: it was time. But there was just a little time for one last act of procrastination, my excuse being that I had to do #Letter365. And there laying on the table was the other open sketchbook with an idea that I wanted to develop – and remember that I was all fired up – so what could be easier than using that. I set to work and soon had created something I was pretty pleased with! Now I could get on with the drawing in the Moleskine. That went really well, actually even better than I had hoped. Once dry and I could interact with it I fell in love with it. So did someone else: it was the piece I sold to the woman in America.

Align One Ink drawing by David Smith on Moleskine concertina book
Align One
Ink drawing on Moleskine concertina book

So then I went back to the piece I had so boldly and confidently produced for #Letter365. I realised it was missing something; it didn’t quite work. I played around with different things for quite a while before realising that what was missing was me. I had skilfully found a way to get #Letter365 out of the way so I could get on with a piece that was really important to me, a piece I was full of. I wasn’t full of the piece I had made for #Letter365 and it wasn’t full of me. It was OK and had some interesting aspects but frankly it just wasn’t good enough! It didn’t pass the “would I have it on my wall and love it” test. Bit of a lesson there then! That meant I had to start again. Well I made a new piece, but I distilled some of the good aspects of the previous idea and sat with it until I could resolve it with honesty and integrity. In the light of what went before I am a little diffident about making any qualitative statement about just how good this latter piece is but I would be happy to have it on my wall and it pleases my eye.

Back of #Letter365 No154
Back of No154

 

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