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For me drawing is the essential daily practice – however frantic the news, however pressing other events. Over the past year I have begun to draw differently, using part of a pen knife to begin with, directly onto the paper. Because in normal light you can’t actually see the lines you are making, this allows a more freehand, almost subconscious way of mark making. It gives a spontaneous, more energetic texture to the substance of the drawing which is only revealed when I rub across it in different colours. I am as in love with bright colours as I ever have been, and remain in awe of the quality of modern coloured pencils made by the best manufacturers; but this way of drawing allows colour to play against line in a way that vaguely recalls woodcut or even etching.
The paintings here emerge from the drawing practice but through a long and increasingly arduous process; and of course there is almost no connection in terms of the material of the paint, which I often mix myself, and the brisk lines of the drawings. The subjects suggest themselves day by day, emerging from reading, fragments of conversation or the fading aftermaths of nighttime dreams. But looking back, it’s beginning to seem to me as if they add up to an almost mythological commentary on daily life – daily life made, somehow, more primal and direct.
Andrew Marr, March 2022