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Sketchbook Porn

Sketchbook Porn: Allyce Wood

Allyce Wood‘s art has always been about environment, nature and ecosystems. Now perhaps more than ever, her nostalgia for things in the natural world that have passed or are passing is timely. Despite the heavy subject matter, her renderings in pencil and watercolor have the weightlessness of a husk—the mournful tempered with a baroque sensuousness that flows from Wood’s intuitive and expert draftsmanship. Stalks, buds, knotted driftwood and a host of indeterminate, ghostly carapaces mysteriously fold into themselves, tipping into abstraction.

“Reflection comes at strange times of the day; then planning begins. My sketchbook is a respite from imagining, in most cases, its pages being where ideas once made become planned or edited. In the spectrum of functional production, there are a lot of notes on hanging fixtures, materials, alternative pinning techniques and reminders from past constructions (see sketchbook page four with the blue ink). When making initial plans for two-dimensional work, my symbols get sorted on paper, as do my contours and aesthetic gravity. (See sketchbook page one, the two images side by side. The image and its reason exists, but variables need testing every time.) My sketchbook is becoming more of a tool and map than a place of free association or impulse-space. I don’t carry it with me, because often I need to write and do sums and I can’t do that en route. When I am in my studio amongst my materials, I can make plans within their restraints. When at the kitchen table (or in bed) I can idealize.”

The following are excerpts from Wood’s sketchbooks with comments by the artist.

 

A more resolved version of my usual telephone-doodles. Sometimes you just need to see that there is an end to your compulsions before you decide they need to be followed.

 

A test in organization and structure: pile variations are becoming more necessary.

Pages of my book were designated to the ‘fever scrawl’ of creating a pleasing-yet-dramatic composition of drying flowers (still unresolved).

One of 6 initial drawings for Resigned watercolor on paper.

Finished version of Resigned (2014, watercolor on paper, 22 x 14 inches). This piece was published on contemporary art/music blog, Forage Press, for my work inspired by “Concrete Walls” by the Swedish electronic band Fever Ray. See the work and read my accompanying essay here.

Images courtesy of the artist.

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