It is the process through which I create patterns, that perhaps best illustrates current drawing methods employed in my measured pursuit of MASTERY.
I have an innate, and now increasing, fascination for pattern. Even from an early age, I found myself engrossed in their construction, and discovered something of a natural flair for using the instruments in my very first geometry set.
The rythm of routine
Grids and drafted ‘tilings’ set structures and constraints. Through the rhythm of mark-making, and the continuous routine of ‘building’ the componentry, the patterns gradually evolve, and finally assume their various repetitive shapes and designs.
With the making of patterns, I am absorbed in, and very much enjoy the challenge of balancing consistency with increasing complexity, handling the two in harmony.
Owen Jones’ outstanding book “Decorative Ornament” [originally titled “The Grammar of Ornament”] was first published in 1856, and features more than 2350 historic designs and patterns.
This definitive reference offers a wealth of material drawn from nineteen different cultures. It continues to provide me with an indispensable source to inspire ideas, and influences the further development of pattern making, as well as my overall drawing skills.
Intimism and intensity
Each pencil mark employed in my pattern construction has individual quality and character. I see these ‘imperfections’ as integral to the beauty of hand drawn practice.
Working up close, the pencil tracks slowly and deliberately across the surface, adding complexity and intensity through transparent layering. Colour pencils and watercolours offer extra dynamics, and on occasions, degrees of opacity may be introduced. With the application of greater pressure, embossing and debossing is created. Subtraction through erasing is also a key drawing component to this pattern making process.
There exists an INTIMATE relationship between every mark made and the surface of the paper
Technique and expression
The process of pattern making is an essential discipline employed to assist with the advancement of my skills, and I am mindful that this ongoing engagement is largely directed by technique.
Richard Sennett, in his book “The Craftsman”, suggests that the line between craft and art may seem to separate technique from expression. For my practice, I believe that TECHNIQUE is INTIMATELY LINKED with EXPRESSION.