A large tablet of white drawing paper is clipped to my drawing panel. Actually it’s slightly off white to be more precise. I have steel-nib pens, India ink and pencils arranged on my work table. I love paper. And very black India ink and brown ink in bottles. They sit uncapped, with the lids perched precariously across the glass opening, waiting for my hand to dip the pen into the ink.
I’ve studied the drawings of the masters since art school back in the 70’s and again when I finished my degree in the 90’s. I reach back to them when I look for direction in my art. I work to achieve their ease of the stroke, their lack of hesitation when putting the pen to paper. Here is where I let my mind wander enjoying the movements my subjects will be doing today, my favorite subject the horses cavort in my head as I begin experimenting while I draw the lines on the paper. Over and over I draw the horses; one horse, two horses, a group of them, one sheet dancing horses, another sheet, striding horses, a third sheet, leaping and playing horses. These thumbnail sketches are my inspiration and might end up as a possibility for a work in three dimensions. They fill my portfolios and fall out of books where I jammed them in at some point in the past. I forget about them until I discover the first one which then became the second drawing, then the third one in gouache and with touches of pastel. I like seeing where my inspiration begins, I line them up in my studio and pin them to the 200 year old hand-hewn logs to observe the horses movement across the wall.
This studio is a great place to work, old with the new, my drawings rolled out along a rough wall. I love paper and ink and the horses that are scrawled across them. And where I’ve been and where I’m going with my work. I’m won’t be content until I’ve drawn all these horses dancing in my head, sometimes more than one, many times more than just a few but most often over and over again.