These are the drawings I made that night.
This drawing is of a person whose name I forgot whom I met briefly at this party and asked to pose for a couple of minutes for me. In a way, I don't mind not knowing their name anymore, because for me they are the most perfect embodiment of my favourite type of nose, the aquiline. I delight in the jump of the line of such a nose when I draw it, it makes my heart skip a beat when I see it.
These two drawings were followed by many more.
This is one of the countless drawings I have been making this year of my fellow artist and best friend, Tess Glen. Following is an excerpt of a text she wrote about the Modern Woman, which we both identify as.
In the bedsit, the decoration is fiendish. Velveteen beige walls and mint skirting boards. But there is a way in which everything is here in this room – pinned to the wall like colour swatches, all of her experiences, encounters, relationships. Her modest room has become regal to her. Adorned with a dried opulence.
In front of this backdrop, The Modern Woman isn't sure how to be idle. She sponges the floor where the dirt has been scribbled in. Once finished, she will lay herself down on the tiles and look up at the light fittings, imagining love. To make these thoughts more interesting she has been reading romantic novels and in one passage she has found a perfect companion, a sensitive young American called Chandler, who she sometimes picnices with before bedtime. Spread out there, she laughts like a drain when he tells her about his truly 'mad whack' boss at the department store where he works.
The weather brings on fits of neglect. The Modern Woman stands naked in the kitchen in front of drapes, smoking at the window, or embroidering. In these spells she imagines herself as a woman in a painting. This bothers her. She feels naivety rise up in her, then to the patterns reverberating around the room. Her world is really quite padded.
At night the bedsit is lit up in a fog. A fridge of pastel drapes; ghosts of old colour schemes hang in the air. The Modern Woman looks at the phone ... most of her friends, she's decided, could use a two year break from her. Shes's hungry though, and so, in an uncharacteristic decisive impulse, she decides to visit the corner shop downstairs.
Defending her title as a Modern Woman, she steps out the door, without a glance in the mirror.
Drawing of a doll by Louise Bourgeois at the Tate Modern
This is one of the also countless drawings I made this year of my fellow artist Eoin McEvoy. It shows him sitting in one of Edinburgh's more bohemian pubs called Paradise Palms, replying to a question he was asked by another friend of ours about what his perfect day would be like. He says that he never had a perfect day and can't even imagine what it would be like.
I have been keeping a written diary since I was ten, but have switched to making my drawings be my way of keeping a diary. This transition was completed when I decided to burn my last written diary because it lacked the positivity of my drawings. I did this because I aim to portray life as when I saw the most beautiful sight I ever saw – A sunset out of my studio window in Gothenburg years ago that was like a pink and orange zebra, all over the sky. Recently I found out that more pollution in the atmosphere correlates with more orange sunsets, which made this experience even more intense for me because its beauty contained that terrible truth.
The phrase in this drawing is a response and promise to my mother, who told me I have to stop feeling guilty about things I did, that I ought to stop eating my heart. It is a vibrant drawing with this thought behind it, and therefore rings true.
This was drawn at a dinner party at the house of two artist friends of mine. We all just graduated this year from art school and most of us are still figuring out what to do next, and so this picture shows two of my friends sitting about and smoking thoughtfully. One of their projects is to make the large cupboard room next door into a Death Room. It is based on their research into a victorian man who had a room in his mansion that he used solely to contemplate death in.
Now I am working on continuing this series with my new set of green monoprint paper.