Thursday, April 10, 2008


An artist working in Swansea, Wales by the name of Richard Monahan, defines drawing:

"In my opinion and the definition that is most relevant to my own work is that drawing can be defined as such; The making of a mark upon a surface, with a hard-nibbed tool." - source:

The most important aspect to my definition is the idea that drawing must be made with a tool that is of a solid consistency, not a brush as this has an articulation, nor a computer, as this has many interventions from the moment the idea leaves the hand to the moment to when it appears on screen, but with a pencil, a pen, charcoal etc.

The reason for this has to do with the immediacy that a hard-nibbed object brings to the work. If you are to draw a line with a brush some may consider this an act of drawing but to me the articulated head of a brush is one separation between the mark made upon the ground from the physical action of the hand and therefore the brain. This separation causes the mark made to be less accurate to the influence of the hand/brain. The more separations you have between hand and ground, the less human the activity becomes.The reason I admire the act of drawing above all other art forms is its ability to convey the artists thoughts, sub-conscious and conscious, to the viewer. This is the reason that seeing artists sketch-books is of vital importance to understanding their work. It is this honesty and the immediacy of the process of understanding thought through drawing and conversely drawing through thought that makes the subject so important to every artist. I believe that to attain the ultimate accuracy and understanding of this relationship between brain and hand, the journey on to paper must be as little interrupted as possible. The pencil is, afterall, a more accurate extension of the hand.

I have expanded this line of thought into differing materials and most recently paint. By cutting and scarring a line through the surface of paint I am able to retain the primacy of drawing in conjunction with the many different qualities of oil paints.

The work is then presented with an oblique light raking the surface of the image that lends each line an accompanying shadow, thereby high-lighting the drawn qualities.


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