Here are some drawings done in California. Between travelling with children and enduring quite brutal heat, this is not as robust an effort as I would usually make. Still, California is an endlessly fascinating place for me. Perched at the edge of the American dream and being filled with dreamers, it represents those frictions between fantasy and fulfilment. It is still frontier land and the freedom of exploration and discovery of that not so distant past is still in the daydream haze that fills the heads of its citizens.
I am quite rusty drawing Americans. In the past they were my bread and butter. I relished in the fat and filigree. I realise now that my approach to drawing people is less about the people themselves but their symbolic power. Their momentary pose which, like a statue, eschews mere representation and enshrines human achievement (no matter how small or bad or good).
To wake up from the dream that is California is profoundly sad. Invested in the palm trees and wide open vistas is the closest thing America comes to paradise and yet, because of this, like all things American, it becomes a victim of it’s own success. It now chokes on the exhaust of it’s own decadent dreams. Mixed in with moments of placid calm at the beach are unpredictable traffic jams and the same feverish capitalism that drove everyone out there in the first place (or was that the beaches?). But still, like dreams themselves, California works on a logic of its own. Here’s to the dreamers!