drawn with brush, pen (observation study) my first attempts to break down in lines what was ahead of me.
back in delhi but remembering the goan landscape. My place of stay allowed me to a see a fixed scene everyday. Coconut trees which did not make sense. They were not straight. I sat after breakfast attempting to draw how i would normally draw in my studio or in the nehru place cafe. But the landscape would not allow me any fixtures within. Tempted i drew the coconut trees, trees in the background, the yellow, green fields ahead, then following the curves of the cloud, the large leaves next to me.
For some reason i drew this landscape everyday. I didnt have much choice since i faced it as a single view point while eating. I forgot how i would draw in my sketchbook in the cafe. I just could not figure out where and how i started to see so much detail. I repeated the moving clouds, i drew the tied up cushion on the chair. I could not stick with just the line which i draw mentally when drawing in a cafe but the dense form of each object especially the clouds. Each object was a soild mass which i had to confront unlike a mind drawing where i just work with lines. And thankfully i was not drawing myself and the dog. I had other subjects to work with. But clouds were misleading.
I realised that when i was met with nothing around for me to draw, an immediate response was to draw a bench.
Also i am not sure but i was doing multiple drawing exercises at one time. One page was the imaginary comic book page, the other a still life like a chair, then landscape and then a small scale drawing I usually do. Landscape was offereing me too many stimulating points to indulge with. It felt i could leave the sketchbook and draw on to everything around me and change how things are functioning. Thr order of things disturbs me. Why have plants growing from the ground? why this planning of landscape. There will always be a road in front of me. The home has a balcony. People stay in the home. I can look outside my place of stay. Coconut trees are in the field. There is a cow grazing in the field. There is no distortion. It is a malfunction of the society. I can fix it.
I have not encountered clouds so up close in delhi. And their contour and form is difficult to define because it is changing and you know you can walk through them, so an illusion of solid mass and Air and a deceiving slow movement being still but moving. So why are the clouds moving. Why am i not moving knowing earth is rotating?
Clouds later and i didnt realise this would happen that my faces i draw will become like clouds. Ones of the faces i have posted below.
i couldnt draw or lost out on how i would usually see movement. I tried capturing the man with a banola, a tool to clean out a hundred year old mango tree. It is was a struggle to follow him as he moved through the tree sifting out decaying leaves. My first floor terrace view was slightly lower then his position, but i saw him poke and pull the spear like weapon throwing out clustered leaves which he felt would block his view when ripe mangos will fill the tree. My position of holding the pen also changed as it was less about what i was drawing and more about being in the flow of his movement. The process of drawing an act prompted me to go and meet him and know more about what he was doing. Its only then i came to know the hook shaped instrument is called ‘banola’ and he has been taking care of this tree for years and his reward is the mangos of the tree. I wasnt even sure what he was doing when i began drawing him. It was his intriguing movments inside the tree which triggered a reason to draw. I guess drawing makes it easy to begin questioning the surroundings.
If this was a way to study movement, i lost a complete sense of understanding movement beneath land. A corner of the city of panjim, dona paula beach at ten at night, a failed attempt to draw with a brush and i am leaving the place and i hear and see someone smashing a fish as if trying to break a stone to pieces. The Angler with a flash light on his head shows me a box of hooks, and tells me about movements to capture the fish, how each hook shaped like a frog, lobster, fish creates its own unique movement, where the hook is placed on the rubber like fish. ” Its imitating a live bait ” So for the predator its a trick. Its a movement under water creating a false impression of a fish in distress. Its not a live bait which is injured but a fake plastic fish with a ball bearing inside creating a tug, a pull, a jerk as the hook and the line pulls, creating a sound wave, enough to lure a larger fish.
but the low tides that night yielded the worst of its kind. Smashing the head of the eel fish, trying to save the hook from further damage, the angler threw in a dead bait of a small fish. This time a two foot long eel fish caught the bait. I knew again the fish would be bashed up like dough by the pizza maker as these fishes required too much time in cleaning with very less meat to be served on the dinner table for the family. And bashing was being done because you had to kill the fish as it had really sharp teeth, enough to eat your tender fingers while pulling out the hook.
I ran back to my scooty thinking how would i draw this movement of the artificial bait on a hook which is moving inside water? Could i create my own baits with their own movements? In this case the movement is entirely dependant on the movement of the water and tidal waves.
The mystery of coconut trees
I could not help it. My typical line drawing was overcomed by the beauty of the texture and the tones of the tree. The brush ( pigma brush pen) made it so easy and effortless to relive the un straight, curve lines in nature. Also then my sense of creating puzzles out of everything came in the grid drawings where i began questioning why the leaf was like a leaf and why it could not have a deformity ( see the drawing below). Why does everything have a center?
The sketch below was my drawings on instructions. A series where i pose silly instructions, exercises for the viewer. In this i realise i came back to how i would normally draw. A crude sketch which does not draw from life but from the mind. I hate the symmetry of the tree. A centre of the leaf and flow on both sides. I wish the tree could play around by being uneven!