Sunday, September 12, 2010

Portrait of the artist ...

James Joyce wrote a novel, "Portrait of the artist as a young man". And I guess that is what this little group of drawings is. I did them in the early- to mid-1980s, when I was a mixed-up young man not sure what I wanted out of life. Having worked (between military conscription camps) for the PFP for three years, I would move to Port Elizabeth in August, 1984, where I joined the Evening Post as a reporter.

Part of the unfortunate legacy of that time spent in the military was the emergence of a permanent snor on my upper lip. Here the watercolour and wax crayons allow themselves to compete for a hold on the paper.

I went through a stage of using watercolours on all my drawings, which can often be fatal if you screw it up completely. Anyway, here the damage seems not to have been too great.

So what the heck is going on? Only a seriously disgruntled oke could draw himself in this unflattering pose - but it was by no means the nastiest take I did of myself.

The paper used on these drawings had a dimpled texture, which I seemed to have exploited with a soft pencil, adding bolder black lines with a pen.

There is a Gauguinesque quality to this, even if I say so myself. I remember a lovely painting he did of himself at this sort of angle.

Talk about an old toppie who is not yet even 30. Age is in the mind, and at this point I clearly was feeling I'd been tramping the earth a good many years already.

But just to show I wasn't totally self-obsessed, this drawing of a large lady with a shopping bag was done on the back of one of those self-portraits.

No comments:

Post a Comment