I decide to use watercolour paper rather than the pages of my journal. The block of paper is easier to open out flat and it is larger than my A6 notepad. I also decide to use a square format as a window on the world. I prefer the square format for my photographic images too, as one that encourages the viewer to dwell. I feel that my preference for a square format and often placing the subject in the centre of the frame might be considered naïve or immature, but it is authentic. I struggle to get started with drawing. The fear of the blank page is rather like trying to get the first words of a chapter of my thesis down on paper. I worry that the resultant image will not be very good regardless of my decision earlier not to judge the output but rather the process. I need to move beyond this fear of putting pen, or pencil to paper!
I find the square window I have drawn on the page helpful in framing a particular part of the loch and place some tentative marks on the page. I like the idea of the rocks on the edge of the loch forming the foreground and the slender yet dense reeds receding into the background. As I work, I see a turquoise flash and realise a kingfisher has landed on a reed. It settles on its precarious perch and then hovers high above the loch. It dives and catches a fish. And then it is gone! I have never seen a kingfisher on the loch before which goes to show that perhaps my attentiveness is improving. I am exhilarated by my spot, and excited that this tiny and elusive bird inhabits the fringes of the loch. I begin to write down some words that spring to mind as I work. I wonder about doing some ink work to bring out the delicacy of the reeds but leave that for another day.
I am reticent about starting another drawing. The same fear returns but I decide to feel the fear and do it anyway. From the start this drawing does not feel as easy. Having made the road the central part of the image I felt it was dominating the image rather than the more interesting trees, ferns and grasses that border it. But I show it here for completeness. I did not become absorbed in this second attempt, and I think the result clearly shows that lack of engagement on my part.
I have really enjoyed returning to drawing and using it as a way of improving my attentiveness. It certainly worked and I look forward to more encounters with the creatures of the loch that hitherto I have failed to spot!