This is why I haven't been out there contemplating nature: I'm
writing my latest Sushi Sketchbook. The whole point of
Sushi was that I'd get out drawing from nature a heck of
a lot more but it hasn't worked out like that because I've had a
backlog of three titles to write up.
The problem is that one simple drawing can lead to a chain of thoughts
that takes me ages to write down in some acceptably coherent way.
Here's an example; a drawing of the medieval wrought iron handle
on the door of a Norfolk village church that I'm including in Sushi
number 5, Saints and Serpents.
Here's what I wrote about it this afternoon:
It wasn't until I'd nearly finished drawing the handle on the
church door that I realised what it was, what I think it represents.
It was the pitted surface of the handle, like reptilean scales,
that made me realise: it's Ygdrassil, the Viking world tree; its
roots in the underworld, its branches in heaven and, at its base,
serpents such as Nidhogg are constantly trying to topple it.
I write all the text by hand for the Sushis and, when
I've read through my mock-up of the whole thing, I'll probably go
back over sections like this and try and improve them. Because it's
hand-lettering that means writing the whole paragraph again.
Research is tempting for me and I can't possibly include everything
that I'm tempted to. For instance it amused me that Nighogg, the
serpent at the foot of the tree, is in a constant rivalry with an
eagle who lives up in the branches. There's a squirrel that spends
it's time running up and down the tree and stirring up trouble:
'Hey, Eagle, do you know what that Nidhogg's been saying about