I was reading Herbert Read on Th Philosophy of Modern Art and things started to fall into place for me. He discusses art in terms of realism, symbolism and expressionism: although I knew the basics, reading more about them - and more importantly how artists have moved from one to the other and back again - is giving me more to think about. Up until now I have felt that I cannot move away from observation, that I will always be representational to a certain extent, but I feel a bit liberated having read this.
I had bought a book on 'Expressive Drawing' some time ago, but I didn't feel inclined to dip into it. Now I've been reading it and working through the exercises. It's taking me back to square one, starting again with drawing, but a different kind of drawing. I thought I'd share a few images with you. The starting point was to draw without thinking, drawing with an empty mind. So I started with this.
Another exercise was to draw different feelings. For example, here is 'confused'
In another exercise I had to create a picture using only one type of mark -making marks and rubbing out/covering over - in this case using straight lines
Here is HORIZONTAL
And here is DIAGONAL
Looking over these drawings now I find them quite interesting. I want to note this all down and keep a record of it. It is so different from my usual practice, but very enriching, I think. And, I suspect, a route to greater expressionsm and abstraction. Anyway, more anon as I'm planning to work through the book gradually (at the same time as continuing to paint!)
In the meantime, I found this link to the book and the artist if you're interested