Links to the Past
Each page of the buffalo sketchbook seems to be an invitation to discover more about the animal, myself and the very nature of art. I am so used to dealing with the subject of landscape these studies have a freedom and experimentation that seems born of an entirely new challenge.
I started with a number of realistic studies but wanted to move from these quite quickly to explore various ideas that occurred to me on the trip. My most vivid memories were of the Buffalo surrounded by something else moving in a natural way. Whether it be a dust plume, heavy rain, steam or geysers, in shifting through such conditions the Buffalo’s hold on my memory was transformed, beyond mere appearance, into an emotional reaction reflecting it’s journey of survival and I’d like to try and communicate this in some way.
When I tried to introduce a sense of this movement into my sketches I was struck by how closely these efforts started to resemble the work of cave artists 40.000 years ago. It was always an intention, of the project, to reconnect me to Moran’s paintings one hundred and fifty years ago, what I didn’t plan was to forge a bridge to the earliest artists to walk the earth.
Its feels as though a crucial link has been made in my imagination relating to this sketchpad, a link which will hopefully reveal more of the first instincts to makes images as the work progresses.