170 cm x 156 cm, black biro on 15 separate sheets of brown paper.
Date produced: 1984-1986, while living at West Beach, after my first exhibition (1984-1986).
This is the developed part of a major drawing attempted of the large Moreton Bay Fig tree in North Adelaide. There were another 2 rows of 3 sections below what can be seen here, but there wasnt much work to be seen on those 2 rows so they werent included.
This was drawn entirely on-site. I used biro, to allow for plenty of fine detail. I felt that the drawing had to be large to have some chance of capturing the level of detail in the wide angle of view (about 180 degrees horizontally) that I wanted to show. The idea was to provide a large amount of detail throughout a large drawing, to suggest the large size of the tree.
The solution I came up with for producing such a large drawing was to do it in sections, that joined together to form the one large image. The section containing the centre of the tree required many weeks of careful drawing (because I was using biro for the whole drawing; there could be no erasing).
I was happy with the drawing at the time, but it got to a stage where I felt tired, and doubtful as to whether it was expressing what I really wanted. I was feeling impatient. There were many other interesting things to be attempted, and this project was dragging on longer and longer. I felt at the time that the drawing should be done again, with stronger lines around the forward projecting bough. I didnt start this second version, although I did do some reasonably quick but full-sized mock-ups to test the idea of strengthening the projecting bough. I didnt fully complete the first major version.
I can look back at that drawing now and feel very happy with what was attempted and with what I achieved. I now know that good work usually does take a lot of time, and I am at a stage in my life where I feel more at ease with taking the amount of time necessary to do the job properly.
I initially thought that a second version of this drawing (plus adding colour for increasing the expression of spatial arrangement), should be done using different media - pastels and charcoal(?) on a single large board (about 1.7 metres long by 1.2 metres high). I know that I could do such a piece. However, I also knew that it would take too much of the precious project time to do it. I came up with a compromise approach - using biro and coloured pencils on a smaller single sheet of paper.