Robin Shillcock


Drawing is thinking on paper. It helps to clear the mind, to focus. A drawing may be a first step in a process leading to a painting, or an end in itself. Mine range from small memory sketches to larger studies intended to understand the subject at hand, to independent larger work in pencil, conté or ink. Observation and imagination need to be honed ceaselessly; drawing is the way and helps, besides, to curb my modern-day influenced impatience.

I suppose I was born with a gift for drawing. When a child some said I had talent. Others, notably teachers, called it an infliction. They coudn't see it as learning. Because it was a way of dealing with events happening around me, I never really questioned whence it came. Perhaps all the moving from one place & culture to another spawned a need to create my own, controllable world, and from this grew an urge to record experiences.
It was therefore not unnatural for me to seek an occupation that gave my existence that kind of satisfaction and in consequence I arranged my life around drawing and painting impulses. Today I've come to see it as a great privilege to have an opportunity to occupy myself with things that interest me.

From my father I inherited a feeling for “hammer and nails”, that is, for how things are constructed and why. He taught me the beauty of everyday objects, say, a pair of pliers or a good saw. My mother passed on to me a sense that everything has its place in the order of things. (No doubt more filtered down through the genetic systeem, but that’s nobody’s business.) These tendencies, coupled to my love of drawing, of capturing reality in a single line, help me in exploring the ins and outs of a subject, in fleshing out the superfluous. If it works, a drawing may cut to the bone.