Thursday, 24 January 2013

Transit - Hawfinch - Mark-making

I tried to draw everything I could see from the train window between Basingstoke and Winchester this morning. I like the way the pen marks have their own rhythm.

I made a similar drawing on Tuesday on my way home from Winchester. 

Today I paid the excess to continue my journey to the next stop: Southampton Airport Parkway, (Eastleigh),where I fancy a stroll around Lakeside Country Park.
An unpromising location, wedged between Southampton Airport and a new housing development, the Country Park provides a small oasis for wildlife, along with a cafe and mini-railway. Locals were thrilled last year when a small flock of Hawfinch took up winter residence there. I want to see if I can find any today. 

Another birder with a long (400mm?) camera-lens was on site checking the copse in the centre of the park. A female Kestrel watched from a high tree-top vantage point.

Down by the lake, a Common Gull was perched on a post next to a Black-headed Gull (Common Gull on the left). Following the path round the lake I came across a mixed flock of Siskin and Goldfinch feeding in some Alders. The lake provided views of the few gulls and ducks braving the chilly wind but not much else. 
Finding myself back at the entrance, I stopped to make a drawing, all the while keeping my eyes alert for any sign of a large finch. My fingers became chilled to the bone as I drew so I soon retired to the warmth of the cafe for a cup of tea.
Setting out again at 11am, I thought I would take one more quick look across the park before heading back to Winchester. And there it was: a Hawfinch flew over and landed in the uppermost branches of a silver birch about 50 metres away. I moved forward cautiously for a closer view through my beloved Leica binoculars. The bird was very mobile and flew off after about two minutes. I was already on my way back to the station to catch the next train. (I suppose this would count as a 'twitch').

Later, back at Winchester, chatting with my friend Keith 'Part2ism' Hopewell over lunch, he suggested 'sampling' small areas of my drawings to create abstract compositions from the mark-making. His background in avant-garde aerosol painting and music production give him a different perspective from mine. Diversity in friendships and exposure to new perspectives enriches and encourages creativity. I began to see the work in a new light and made some samples from the scanned images of my drawings.

It could go a bit 'Warhol' with the different colour-ways but I like the sampling idea. It needs more work and a bit more care over colour selection but there is scope here for a series of screen prints, perhaps. 

There are many possibilities with multiples, enlargements, lots of scope to experiment using my drawings as raw material.  The hand-writing too could be interesting, taken out of its context:

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