Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Scanner Daily: 4

Basil plant, fountain pen ink on notepad, scanned.

Yesterday my new flatmate bought a basil herb plant. As a result of this I tidied up the pile of useless administrative papers which were hanging out clumsily on my windowsill. I had been meaning to sort these out for a while and now I had to make room for the herb plant. The windowsill sits over the desk where I work in my living room. If you walk down the road I live on you can see the window and some books piled behind it (but no longer any messy papers) and now you will be able to see a basil plant. They don't tend to live long though. They also tend to get eaten up for salads and pasta dishes.

I drew the plant today. The leaves you see are only a fraction of what was really there. If I had drawn them all, it would have taken me as long as the day and also the leaves would have jumbled together into a shady mass of indistinguishable forms. I don't have the skill to distinguish them. Although basil leaves look plain on the eye initially, when you come to draw them they get much more complex. Engaging with their complexity becomes therapeutic. I have always liked to draw something which lives. I'm a little rusty as I haven't drawn for a while. Also, I decided to use a fountain pen rather than a drawing ink pen. It meant I had to hold it at an angle. It was also difficult to achieve definition as the ink flows out thickly and quite of its own accord. I couldn't make the lines and cross hatching as elegant as I would usually. It was a challenge which perhaps I didn't need as I am out of practise.

Nevertheless, at least I have put more effort into today's scan. It is less conceptual art and more traditional art I think.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good one! I love herbs in the house...smells so good.