35/15 ‘If not now when’ Ink and charcoal on A4 paper
‘This image comes from one of the field trips I made with Michael Horn in July, which I wrote about at the time (28 July below). We visited this curious country park-cum-nature reserve in Norfolk, privately-inspired as an example of a now-scarce ‘wet meadow’ habitat but open to the public under the rather daunting name of ‘If not now when’. Among its oddities is a small monumental brick arch, featured here on the other side of a circular turf-cut maze, and flanked by trees in straight lines now amazingly large compared to the saplings I saw two years ago soon after the place had been planted up. I found it inspiring then, and did so again on this second visit. Michael is particularly keen on ink-sketching and we sat on separate benches facing the arch and inked away. Unbeknown to me, he sketched me sketching, completely absorbed. The result is now in my art collection!
The image here is as drawn/painted in ink in the field. It was done as an exercise, one of several preparatory to painting a ‘real’, larger work in the studio. Such, however, has not yet transpired and meanwhile this sketch (and a similar one done immediately afterwards and already framed and hanging in my house) still in my field-pad struck me as having a sort of vitality, indeed a fluidity, often conspicuously lacking in my work. But enough analysis! – it’s here because I liked doing it and like the result.’