Drawn from memory
Over the weekend I inadvertently stumbled across a documentary about Stephen Wiltshire. His story seemed vaguely familiar. A quick search on YouTube confirmed by suspicions - I remember him being featured on Blue Peter when I was a child. Here is a news clip about Stephen opening his gallery in London which mentions his Blue Peter appearance:
Unfortunately I could not find any footage of the aerial view of London which he completed in the programme that I watched, but here is a clip of him performing a similar exercise in Rome:
If you are interested in seeing more of Stephen's work, look him up on YouTube; there are loads of short films showing him draw various cities, including New York and Tokyo, from memory. Each time Stephen draws the cityscapes, directly in pen, onto a large panoramic piece of paper after a 15 or 20 minute helicopter ride.
During the programme that I watched there was a discussion about the artistry behind Stephen's work, and whether it was 'art' or 'technical drawing'. For me it is definitely art. Stephen has his own system of mark-making, and method of codification, that he employs in order to represent the reality that he memorises.
After all my faffing, and not much sketching, seeing Stephen work so industriously has shamed me into action! I am going to try and complete at least one sketch every day in my sketch book. I want to hone my observational skills and, to make it as easy and accessible as possible, will draw from objects I already have knocking around the studio.
Once that I am back into the sketching habit, I want to try completing some sketches of objects from memory. It will be interesting to see how accurate they are (or not!) once that I refer the sketches back to the original object.
This fresh inspirational impetus is proof that watching television over the weekend is never wasted time!