Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Standing Stones

Held off posting these various development drawings of the Machrie Moor Standing Stones, on the Isle of Arran, until Brian received Vivien's moleskine which I sent and posted up another of my drawings as part of our MoleskineExchange. The moley drawing came out of the final drawing in this series but I'll go back to the beginning (which is a very good place to start) and see if I can remember how it all came about (it now seems like a very long time ago when I did these, either that or my memory is fading faster than .....oh dear, I forgot what I was trying to say!)

Since I didn't make any drawings direct from life when I went to Arran last month I was working from my own photographs. After a couple of more realistic interpretations I then shifted gear and going off at a tangent (which is often my want) and started applying a new dynamic using heightened colouring to say more about the subject than is immediately apparent from 'real' life:

Neocolour II on paper, 40x30cm: Development #4.

Well the sky was blue and the bracken was kind of redish, and the Stones were lit to one side by the setting sun. All that was needed was a bit of heightening of those colours to start getting 4,000 years worth of history talking!

Fine but what if the mood needs to be colder and more distant?:

Neocolour II on paper, 40x30cm: Development #5.

Blue and grey takes us back to the ice-age, long before central heating (although the way things are going in this country and in this present century we are all going back there at an alarming speed and wanting to move to Arizona!) This development was simply a chance to use a favourite colour combination of colours, but I was especially pleased with the grassy green suggestion of a circle as though there were more Stones just out of picture. In reality there weren't any more having been pilfered by even more ancient men than me to make new structures elsewhere.

But what if.....:

Neocolour II on paper, 40x30cm: Development #6.

A portentious sky and two Stones standing forever at the edge of an abyss. The Stone on the left is so tall it disappears out of the picture getting darker all the time, and both Stones are rooted into the earth from where they came.

What else can I do with these fellows? :

Neocolour II on paper, 40x30cm: Development #7;

Previous developments are all standing back in admiration so I thought it was time to get up close and personal with one of them at least and see how the centuries have left their mark. Scarring and fissures, love-hearts (for f*** sake!) and lichen, and blooms of algae all writing their own history. Tablets of stone down from the mountains with messages of wonder from our predecessors. Good on ye, mates, and thanks - I would drop you an email to tell you how much I love these Stones but I don't appear to have your address!

Never mind, I can always post this appreciation and hope you are listening out there!

Neocolour II on paper, 40x40cm: Development #8.

This final piece came with a desire to soften the scene and make the Stones an integral part of their open moorland, windswept, environment. But what is this? One of the ancient peoples come back to honour their own monument? Na, it's just wee Jacqui posing beside the tallest Stone to give it scale (she says that's all I ever ask her to do when I take photographs of buildings and structures. Problem is she is so small it gives quite a skewed view of what you are looking at!)

So there you have it: Standing Stones on Machrie Moor. A wonderful place to visit and stand within the circle marvelling at the organisation and desire of peoples from 4,000 years ago. Makes you think.


Andrea Kobayashi 小林アンドレア said...

Oh folks really carved love hearts on *the stones*?? Hey why not carve Bring them into the cyber age. A friend of mine in Melb once called standing stones 'needles in time'. I think it is very apt. I like your developments, esp no.5.

my croft said...

I really appreciate how fearless you are with color. I find I spend a lot of time indignantly expounding on how "white is too a color!"

Melinda said...

It's shocking that people would carve into these ancient ones. Really, not good at all. Makes you wonder what the builders would say about that.

This has been a very successful series. I especially like Development #5 for its atmosphere (cool and pensive). Then again, I think that Development #6 has a very strong graphic quality. Well gee, I have to say, because I like them all so much, that Development #7 is very in-your-face wonderful, too--like, maybe a size 11 in the art world...! ;)

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Thanks Andrrea! I couldn't carve the stone so just left my card :o)

Fearless, Melanie, that's me!
You could say "White is the new blue", but you would be kidding yourself on :o)

The builders, Melinda, would probably beat them to a pulp with their big stone malkies if they caught them. I certainly would!
I'm glad you enjoyed these, and btw there's nothing wrong with Size 11's - I'm sure they keep you very stable and grounded!

vivien said...

this series look great - what about some large paintings evolving from them?

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Way ahead of me Viv!

Not really, I have presently got so much going on between my ears I can hardly keep up with myself!
It kind of goes like this - days of plenty followed by days nuthin'!

Before too long I'll be boring you with a bunch of paintings that look exactly like these! :o)

Your comments are always welcome.

Melinda said...

Crivens! Me zipped baffies are stowed oot, ah tell ye! Ah think ah look like a pie eater sometimes an' me baffies are as big as whins.

But, that's okay, we've got good smoke for such a small chimney.

Brian McGurgan said...

It's great to see how these developed, David. I like much of what is happening at each development and especially like where you've introduced the figure in the last one (and in Vivien's sketchbook) - great stuff!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Hoochter-teuchter, crivvens, jings, and help ma Boab - the wummin's a natural!
That's just terrific, Melinda, ye've fair picked up the lingo (although it sounds just a wee bit like 'Fat Bastard' frae Austin Powers:o) You keep eatin' a' the pies, hen!
Ah know whit ah'll dae! : Ye shall become my first honorary Blog-Scot of the year for learnin' the mither-tongue and showing great courage and sardonic humour in the face of lang dreich winter days. Henceforth ye shall be known as "Lady Haggis"!
Now awa' and bile yer heid!
And I'm so glad for ye that yer wee chimney's smokin':o)

And Brian: I don't think I can say anything sensible after that, but thank you for looking and commenting! I intend developing some of these into paintings, especially #8.

Melinda said...

Ooh, ah think ah may be gittin' a pettit lip soon. Me plates o' meat be movin' shortly (isn't this a cockney phrase?), but fer now, amur just plooterin' in the mud, ah mean paint.

It is sae braw tae hear frae ye. Thenk ye fur commentin' oan mah big feit.

Okay, and here I'm cheatin' with an online translater....
Be careful now, er ye'll no get a pokey hat when the van comes.

Lady Haggis said...

I'm honored, artistic cousin, distant ancestral homeland dweller. As I try to say these Scottish words out loud, my mouth freezes up in an awful way. So glad you can't hear me practice. It's almost as bad as when I try to pronouce Icelandic. When do I get some Scottish plaid?!

Oh, I forgot to add:
Whit ur ye up tae? when ur ye gonnae pit up mair artwork, eh?

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Melinda: Can't stop laughin':o))))...

...Yet so sad - nae pokey hat! Whit ah'm ah tae doo?

Come now - no pettit lip...plooter aboot in the mud tae yer hert's content - yer daein' fine wi a' that daubin'. Next time perhaps ye might use a brush?

Did'nae bother wi' online translaters - ye've got the lingo in yer hert!

(excuse me while Ah get ma breath back - ah've just been dancin' a Samba wi' my wee hert-throb, Jacqui, tae Barry Manilow singing 'Copacababa'!) {See whit ye miss online!]

"Plates o' meat"? - ya Sassenach! (and that's no nice!)

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Lady Haggis!

It's me that's honoured wi' thy grace!

Keep yer keekers open - there's a new award in the makin' and ye're the first among equals!
Did'nae hawd yer breath but there's a great acclimation comin' yer way, lass!

Edgar said...

I like the way you are combining your neocolor abstractions -- areas of color drawn in zigzag -- with these subjective images, and getting space and color in tension with each other.

... I didn't know that stone age man used heart symbols. Next thing you'll be telling me is that there are cave paintings with smiley faces. :-)

daviddrawsandpaints said...

There are lot's of Stone-Age men, Edgar, with smiley faces, living here in Central Scotland and, bless their big saft hearts, they like to declare their love in the form of memento's scratched on the ancient stones.

Glad you like my ziggy-zaggies :o)

pRiyA said...

i'm glad i stumbled on your blog. just went through it now. i admire your range of styles and the different media that you use so confidentally. everything is good! but i like the abstracts with their strong colour the best.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

And I am very glad you stumbled into my site as well Priya!

The very best thing about blogging is meeting people from all over the world and being introduced to their culture. You have a fascinating blogsite and a great pleasure for me to see something of your life in Bangalore and India - although you didn't half give me a fright when I clicked on to your Profile :o)

I'm pleased you like my work, especially the abstracts which is a direction I am moving in. And, yes, the motivating factor is always colour.

You will have seen some pretty glum recent posts which I intend to put behind me and get back to posting about making art.
Good to meet you Priya, and thanks for commenting!

Harry Stooshinoff, said...

These are all lovely drawings!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Thanks, Harry!

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