Monday, March 3, 2008

Drift Log.



The day I decided to do a long series of ink paintings, I leafed through many years of sketch books looking for a stock of meaningful images. I wanted to keep on painting without breaking my focus and having to pause to look for new imagery. I was surprised to discover how many of my sketches were of beaches: sea, rock, sand and driftwood in all their variations. Perhaps those formative childhood years spent playing on the beach have built themselves into me.

In common with many artists I have a sense that something is painting through me, or that the act of painting is also creating me. I know that when I am in a landscape that I identify with most strongly I feel my personal boundaries expand. The elements are thinking me as I am thinking them. The mind is not contiguous with the brain.

We all know the power of being part of a group`s focus on a common purpose, be it a choir, or a crew or, unfortunately, a mob. We find our individual nature subsumed into a larger entity. It is just a fact of human nature, but it can also be displayed in more heterogeneous communities: myself, the rocky shore washed by the sea, a passing seagull, the flicker of reflected light and the ruffle of breeze in my hair. All these aspects of the world can expand my own nature and act through me and on to the paper.

The battered log in this painting probably fell into the Fraser River during a spring flood and was divested of it`s branches and bark as it tumbled against canyon walls on it way to the sea. It has had all but its most essential form sanded and bleached as it visited many shores in the Gulf of Georgia. When I see it and draw it, we reach out to each other, man and log, ( both a little battered) and record that shared moment on paper.

2 comments:

Mary Z said...

And you're a poet as well as an artist. Thanks for posting both.

KrunchyKate said...

bill, you commented on my santa fe scenes photo, so i came to see your blog. lovely paintings! I couldn't help but notice the geography you speak of... i used to live in vancouver. love that place. my heart is there too.