Have a word


23rd January 2017
Written at life drawing class


A4 Drawing No.18.2 Jan 2017  

writing about drawing

You are hard
and sometimes cruel
but with you I am
the best that I can be.

Not the shiniest, most famous, most admired
but the best of me.



Back of A4 Drawing No.15 Jan.2 2017

Its all I want to do
Its all I should be



A4 Drawing No.16 Jan.2 2017

I have been life drawing since I was about 15 and over all those years I have learnt to be kind to myself, to drawing. I am strict, yes but not so full of self loathing, not so cruel, not so disappointed am I, when I draw. I let myself play, make mistakes, maybe its because I am learning not performing.

Life drawing is a shared experience, a small community all responding to the same object but individual stimuli.

January, after holidays, I am not interested in the colour of an apple.

I just want to draw.

I suffer from terrible loneliness, partly carrying my business alone but isolation hounds me. I have plenty of friends to visit but it’s work I want. Drawing in a community; that energy, makes me happy, makes me kinder to myself, less reproachful. It’s then that I can meet up for a beer and enjoy it. Only then.



A4 Drawing No.16.2 Jan.2 2017

Be patient.

Don’t be so angry
with yourself and
so full of self

Be kinder.
Be more sympathetic.



A4 Drawing No.17. Jan.2 2017

Stop being
so cruel.

No wonder
your crying
all the time.

The one person
who you are
with all the
time is

Gives you a
hard time.

Feeds your

She makes you
lonely and fills
you with self


Have a word
with her.


A4 Drawing No.20 Jan.2 2017

I often say that drawing is mediative, but its not quite, there is way too much dialogue going on.

‘Fuck off’

I can hear my self reproach as my mind drifts to complimenting, confident, or even arrogant thoughts.*

*sometimes you can think, wow, this is going to be a good drawing, or “i am getting good at this, look at me go, and then the drawing shatters around you into fake pride






A4 Drawing No.22 to 34  Jan.2 2017

No writing, written after

And as the day slips on the voices, thank god, start to quieten. Wether its the work or the talk amongst the group, or the gathering of similar minds, the voices quieten and I just draw.

Drawing from life

Drawing from life, an unconscious reaction to form – written in the life room today 13th June 2106.


Like a race horse needs oats, it’s fire, I need drawing to put a light in my belly. But it’s also calming, it narrows the options on the day, straightens the path.

To start the week with drawing signposts me in the right direction, it tells me that the new bathroom is less important and the accounts can wait. It puts back in the cupboard all the things that tend to spill out all the time and take over, it quietens a discombobulated mind.

Just as the air becomes too stuffy, to hot to think, drawing is like rain. It cleans and it nourishes.

Representational, reactional drawing you have to approach with respect, you can’t fake it, you can’t be clever. Humility in learning is the correct approach. It brings you back down to reality and of course, it makes you see everyone is beautiful. The wobbly bits are life’s adventures, the stains on the flesh are years of summers. Youth’s lean smooth forms have an attraction but history has layers and stories.

After the excitement of my London solo show, the work and the drama of it all, today I return to the life class and it feels like magic. But then of course it is not. That time in front of the model, that 1 minute or 5 minutes of drawing is a reaction in time, never to be repeated. Hand to eye, that look, that seeing, just then, captured on the paper.


But of course its not, its better than magic, its craft. It’s learnt, it’s practiced. And like the deceiving hands of the magician it’s quick in execution because of thirty years of practice, thirty years of interest, thirty years of craft, graft, in front of life.

….and then just as that vanity talk rises in my head I ruin a drawing with flippant arrogance, punished, I get back down again. But I smile with the joy of it.


Drawing Class Barcelona

So as Jesus finishes carrying his cross through town, flanked by masked faces in sinister tall black peaks, 10 of us gather together and circle round a beautiful naked girl, sitting in pain, so we can draw her, I guess we all have our weird faiths and our burdens.

But soon graphite slides like silk over smooth cartridge and my feminist angst subsides, I remember how fond of this I am. It is about sensitivity, respect, the simple act of finding form in space.

Maybe the BDS was too much of a good thing, or maybe it was naïve of me to think you could organize something and enjoy it. But for the past year, my love of life drawing had gone, or maybe it was just resting.

Me and Thee

text for
An exhibition of Drawings in Colour and Sculpture by Carol Peace

This new body of work has not only been created through clay but also through oil paint, always with an undercurrent of drawing. The oil paint is like the clay, it is slippery, moveable, the image is there and then it’s gone. It’s easy to pile on, scrape off, smudge, and draw in to. I seem to be sculpting like a painter and making drawings in colour.

For my degree thesis I looked at Rodin’s work and the theory of representing movement. I realise now, some 20 years later, that I had asked the wrong question, it’s not about representing or ‘capturing’ movement, it’s about trying to respond to it in an intuitive way. A new piece called Attempting Sirsasana is like a drawing of movement, rough lines and plains form quickly, areas are left blurred, only the essence is there.

The new pieces Him, Her and Them are raw because life is raw. Broken, cracked in places, deep scars run over the work but the deep ruts and scars reveal the form; reveal the life, the frailties and the power. I try to make the marks strong like using charcoal; there are areas of focus and areas that fade.

In the drawings in colour, the subject matter changes from the life room to the still life but in changing the objects I see more clearly my interests. When I draw cherries they are in love, in a painting of tomatoes their shadows nearly touch. Peaches rest their soft flesh on one another for support, which gives over time.  Bright happy lemons jostle with blue shadows. A lone tomato is still attached to its family tree, they are not present and yet always there. In something ordinary there is often sadness and a beauty.

Relationships and our interaction with other people dominate us and in turn form the basis for much of my recent work. The extra ordinariness and magnitude of the simplicity of the touch of a partner, the closeness of love, it’s basic.

The work is about everyday life, in its minutia, the sheer fantasticness of it all. It’s about the flash of a look, a small gesture, the pressure of a hand in yours, of skin resting on skin. It’s about the rawness and confusion of being alive, the beauty and the complications of it, the freedom, exhilaration and the insecurities. It’s about death and about life, the fear and the joy.

This is not to say that all this is apparent in a piece of bronze or a painting of two peaches but it is what I am aiming for and it makes me go to the studio.

Carol Peace
September 2011