In a linear model of personal growth, you can only go up or down. By design, there are people below and above yourself. This model can be falsely reassuring, as it seems to offer a clear path to success. …
In a circular model of growth, nobody is more advanced than anyone. There is no “up” or “down.” People are at a particular point of their own, unique growth loop. Everyone only competes against one’s self. The circular model can be more daunting, as there is no predefined direction — you need to design your own personal growth process — but it can also be infinitely more rewardingAnne-Laure Le Cunff, “Growth Loops“, Ness Labs
I have favourite subjects I come back, each time at a slightly different point, sometimes the medium I’m using, sometimes how widely or closely I’m focusing. In the past fortnight I’ve been exploring something new to me — blind embossing* on my A3 etching press. I’m using string to try to get a sense of the continuous ink line drawing I enjoy but it being indented into the paper itself. I know where it comes from, what the loops were leading me to this. Some of these are techniques/mediums, e.g. printmaking, and some are subject i.e. looking closer and closer at seashores down to individual pebbles. It’s not a conscious looping, it’s driven by curiosity and enjoyment in art techniques and materials.
(*Blind embossing is printing without ink, creating textures in damp paper.)
Here are a few of the loops that have taken me to the painting above.
2009: Copper etching plate from a workshop at the Highland Print Studio in Inverness, which introduced me to printmaking and presses
2018: Acrylic ink and continous line
2019: Acrylic ink on wood panel
2020: Watercolour and ink pen
2021: Acrylic on canvas
2021: Carved oil painting on a wood panel, with gold acrylic paint
2022: Watercolour in a concertina sketchbook