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Answer Me This canvas

This canvas was partly a reaction to drawing and painting lots of tiny details. I wanted to do something more instinctive and started painting the abstract shapes which I was aware had the feel of letter forms. I often write on my drawings and paintings, sometimes to tell a bit of a story but also because I like drawing letter shapes.

 I've been trying to think of a way of including words, but with various constraints. 

I didn't want them to be 'my' words, I wanted to step round thinking up the words myself. Sometimes I'm happy doing this, but I wanted to explore another way.

I had considered using material from people's tweets, but having explored the idea in this blog, I found that a very small number of people objected to the idea, enough to make it something I didn't want to take further.

I listen to lots of music and spoken word podcasts when I'm working. I tend to avoid wordy things when I'm trying to use that part of my brain, but it suddenly occurred to me that I might be able to use the passing flow of words from a podcast as the basis for my drawing writing.

So I started listening to an episode of Answer Me This podcast and lifting words and phrases as they floated past. The pacing is perfect. By the time I've written the words the speakers have moved on, so that none of their original sense remains. I suppose it's a form of collage. I doubt the podcasters could identify where these phrases come from, I'm deliberately avoiding identifiable links. And yet they are still an echo of the broadcast. I am wary of infringing copyright or taking advantage of other people's creativity, but this feels like a just the right level of detachment. In a way it honours the source material without identifiably 'ripping it off'. I hope so, anyway. I would be interested to hear any views to the contrary. 

I think I've listened to about 8 AMT podcasts so far for this drawing, which is very enjoyable in itself. I am able to take them in while in the process of abstracting. I like this way of working and I think it would be interesting to pursue if further. I can envisage listening to particular source material - audio books, news programmes, etc. - and the drawings will be echos of them, perhaps tinged with their flavour. I will keep you posted of developments, this one awaits my dipping pen!

16th April

Finished...I think

 It's off to the framers and will be available to buy in a couple of weeks. 

 There are more images of work in progress on our Pinterest Boards