On grey and cold days, I prefer to be inside, looking out to draw. And yesterday, Brett Whitely’s drawing style came to my thoughts. In a youtube interview of his wife Wendy Whitely, she mentioned the notion of ‘from in here, to out there’ in his drawings. He has done for example, a huge harbour landscape and a matisse-like squiggle suggesting a balcony at the lower edge of the canvas. Maybe the concept is not new but his way of capturing it is refreshing to me.
When I look at his paintings or drawings, I can almost ‘see’ him using his whole body to draw – moving from one side of a huge canvas (or triptych) to the other side, reaching high up, bending right down and using large whole of arm, shoulder calligraphic moves. Very gestural, very expressive and so free.
I’m not sure how comfortable it would have been for me to have had a conversation with him, but I would loved to have just sat in a corner to watch him in action. I don’t think words would be needed anyway.
In comparison to him, I feel like a mini robot. I’m usually seated, with small wrist and hand movements which are almost always within the confines of an A5 space.
How wonderful it is then, to be able to learn from such talent.
Mmm…maybe I start by moving up from A5.