A Matter Of Time

17 June 2022

Blog post

I have always been drawn to old stuffs especially when there’s metal involved. Old typewriters, clocks, printing machines ….. This time, it is the mechanism of an antique mantel clock.

Subjects like these are not really popular even in Realism art. Perhaps because it is quite glum. But to me, when I see things like this, my intuitive vision kicked in. I see a story and perhaps, secrets in those antique pieces.

But what kind of story? Well, I have mine but I don’t want to make this mine alone. I want it to be a piece of artwork that has an emotional evolution. It can be memories, time lost, reminiscing good old days, anything, rather than just look at it as just some metal thing. BUT, It is also not wrong to see it as just some old metal junk.

I have done a few similar subjects in the past, but with colour pencils. This time, I decided to work with graphites pencils There is just something so mysterious and dramatic about black and white.

The whole process is NOT easier compared to colour pencils. Even though I am using less pencils with this. In fact, it is much more ‘sensitive’ in term of value (light and shadow element).

I have to be careful with the details. If it is too precise, too clean, it will look like a mechanical drawing. Rigid and soulless, which is what I do not want. But in order to ‘work’ it, I still have to use a ruler to get that straight lines.

Those gears, oh dear….. put me in a spot for several days. Do I have to draw every tooth of the gear? Absolutely no. There is no way I am able to be 100% accurate. I have to keep reminding myself that I am creating an art piece and not an engineering drawing.

In order to make it look like what it is supposed to look like (the gears), I concentrate on the values. The play of light and shadow. This somehow distract the eyes to scrutinise every little detail. Closed up, noticed that every tooth is not perfect? Yeah, I cheated.

As for the title, the word ‘matter’ can be either as a element or as a course. The main thing here is time itself. If you look at it visually, it is the elements that makes up a clock. BUT, if you see it intuitively, you will feel what ‘time’ can or have done to and for us.

I know it is a bit deep and I may not put it well in words so I will just let this piece speaks for itself.

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