I draw and paint lines across the surface of the paper, continuous or broken lines. Lines curve around and across each other, forming organic shapes. Or lines approach each other but refuse to touch, creating tension. Or they divide and branch onwards to growing tips.
Lines are pressed into the paper or gently stroked across the surface. A line can be bold or hesitant. Organic curves are drawn with a bold pencil, and stroked with a brush full of paint, at arm’s length, standing and moving from my shoulder. The body makes curves by default. When I paint straight lines, I grip the brush and move from the wrist. Straight lines are so hard to do freehand that I employ masking tape or an edge of card to keep them sharp.
Nature makes curves by default. The stream curves around the beach before meeting the sea. Stones are rounded by the waves. The hills are rounded by years of weathering. The long grass bends in the wind. The body of a small bird curves, a pregnant belly, a child’s cheek. The sea and sky are separated by what looks like a straight line, although it is actually a curve so gentle we cannot see the bending. An occasional slate rocks cracks in lines and right angles. Otherwise, square and straight requires measurement and machines
In my paintings, straight lines and edges serve to emphasise organic curves through contrast.