Just kind of thinking aloud, as usual, I was recently thinking about drawing and my art practice including aerosol work. Many years ago in an essay for uni, I described spray painting as more akin to drawing because you build up lines to create the illusion of form. You can create relatively thin lines or change the nozzle to get broader marks but generally, you would be using smaller lines and building forms. When I was painting many years ago it was harder to source variable nozzles. Maybe the drawing idea doesn’t totally apply but I still feel that with my own aerosol work drawing is relevant. When I think about painting on canvas or paper I feel that drawing comes off better and so I have made an effort to concentrate on drawing even within the painting. The drawing could be mark making on board with implements like a screwdriver for example. Even if I were to use a broad nozzle in aerosol work the illusion of faded colour is simply an application of indistinct lines.
I would always hear painters say how vital drawing is to painting and I can vouch for that because I feel that all of my best painting relies heavily on the drawing. Paintings that don’t really get there are somewhat badly drawn, to begin with. I want my painting to be as close to drawing as possible in so far that there may be a limited palette and linework. When I think of some interesting painters I find that they pair their drawing down to simple elements and they don’t use linework at all. Take, for instance, the artist ‘inthereep’ on Instagram who sprays block-like forms. Those forms have to be filled in to create the form which even though it is painting overall is a compositional painting based on drawing which becomes irrelevant but highly important to the creation of the piece. I suppose that is the point that some painters try to get across. Drawing seems to be an element that is hidden in paint but without it, there is no painting.
I guess my point is even compositional painting like what Felipe Pantone does relies more on drawing than the end painting. It is just that the drawing is literally masked off and falls onto the surface or it becomes sculptural in physical form like the tile work done this year. Even drawing that seems to be based on deceptively simple forms is far more complex than we realise. I suppose that I feel that the artists mentioned above are actually quite skilled at drawing though they use the logic of grids to either work strictly or loosely within those forms. Maybe I am just confused but I feel that aerosol work is just as reliant on drawing as a traditional painting yet opens it up to a world of hard-edged design and soft faded visual noise.