Monday Motivator: A Drawing is Not a Moment in Time

Monday Motivator

“A drawing, even when made from direct observation, does not capture a moment in time. It is much more creative and powerful than that.

“A drawing encapsulates the totality of all the time spent drawing at a location. The drawn scene is not a moment, but a timelapse video on paper.

“… To paint the Waterloo Bridge in London before dawn, the artist Claude Monet visited the same location dozens of times to capture the light and shadows … His final painting was made in his studio from memory and the information he had ‘recorded’ on location.”

Nishant Jain, “A Drawing is Not a Moment in Time”, The SneakyArt Post 22/5/24

One of the reasons I enjoy visiting a location again and again is noticing what attracts my attention each time, whether I’m walking or drawing.

If I’m wandering along looking at pebbles, what makes me reach to pick up a pebble changes but on a particular occasion is typically dominated by one characteristic though I can’t predict what it might be. Sometimes it’s pebbles with a strip, others pebbles with two areas of contrasting colours or textures. The pebbles with orange and white stripes that I have found at one location only. The ones that have been shapd by the sea into a heart or contain letters of the alphabet.

Pebbles in the shape of a heart
A collection of pebbles and sea pottery in the shape of triangles
Pebble, sea pottery, and brick
Pebble with lines that make the shape of the letter Y

When I paint a seascape in which the pebbles are small, the memories of these individual ones influence the colours I use. From a distance a beach may seem to have a mass of grey pebbles, but up close there’s a whole lot more colour. Especially on a rainy day when the water reveals the colours in the scuffed surfaces.

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