I came across the 2 coloured pencil drawings featured above while I was researching for an article that I’m writing for the UKCPS. What is interesting about them is that they are from the same area, but drawn some 20 years apart.
The Liffey Valley is about a 45 minute drive from where I used to live when I was residing in Tasmania. It is indeed a special place that not only features the Liffey River, but a wonderful series of waterfalls, pools and fern glades.
“The Long Pool” (top) was drawn in the late 1980s (own refs)with Derwent pencils on yellow ochre-coloured printmaking paper, 55 x 75 cms, the second version, “Liffey Light”, (2007) was drawn on Canson pastel board, 40 x 60 cms, with Prismacolor pencils.
I got serious with coloured pencils in 1986, and my work was rather realistic. 20 years later and my work became more simplified. What brought about this change?
I don’t think of my work changing, I believe it was (and continues to be) evolving. Artists can ‘plateau’ in their thinking and be happy to produce the same type of work for as long as they like. Others like to experiment and change direction from time to time. Being ‘safe’ always guarantees a result, being adventurous has an element of danger to it. Isn’t life like that?
In order to ‘grow’ as an artist, I feel that it’s important that from time to time, to try something new, to not only freshen up one’s work, but to freshen one’s attitude to their art.
As I get older, I have seen my work become more simplified. This isn’t out of laziness or impatience on my part. I believe that it’s harder to say ‘ a lot with very little’, than to make one’s work as detailed as possible. The more detail in your art, the less ‘room’ you give a more an imaginative response from those who view your work.
I hope to find the time to once again visit that long pool and see how I would interpret it after 9 years. Have you ever tried this with some of your ‘older’ artworks?
I’m not sure if one’s art gets ‘better’ as they get older, maybe it’s more a case of being more open to different ideas.
Art is a wonderful journey, especially if you have a ticket to ride on the train of imagination.