The light falls, and sinks into the depths of the shell. Tone builds and falls as the pencil scritch-scratches on the paper and slowly the wrinkles form, creating their own geography as the nut takes shape.
I’m sitting drawing walnuts, and my thoughts turn to why (well that and bad puns about “nuts”, “pencils” and “nooks and crannies” - I’ll let you joins the dots”)? There is something joyful and indulgent about taking the time to engage in the complexity of looking - whether in a still-life or landscape. You give yourself to the process: look, squint, soft marks, then more - scribbles to fill in contours, or to establish the geometry of the shapes; more looking, revising - moments of “Ah!” as the confusing opens up - clarity blossoming, along with a flourish of marks - quick decisive lines, then shade here, here and here!
I’m not mathematic, many will tell you that, but drawing - sketching, is a different sort of geometry - a way of unpicking the logic of what you see away from the deceit of numbers, who slyly swap places when you’re not looking. And for me now, living with type 1 diabetes I find the numbers are more present than ever. Phantoms that glide around the potential of each meal - complications that are always on the edge of sight, and snicker at my lack of grace under fire.
Maybe this is the joy of sketching the obvious, the joy of detail - it quiets my mind, let’s me think my way, for a while.
Or maybe I’m just nuts...
“Going Nuts” late night thumbnail sketching in pencil.