Travelling by Beard
2011 by David Litchfield
Litchfield’s illustrations remind us why, when we young and since, paper and pencils keep us amused for hours, absorbed by the potential to create and communicate anything. The realms of imagination explored in drawing, the sheer genius of childhood creations, is remembered in Litchfield’s illustrations; they remind us in the mind, anything is possible. Although the painterly surreal and abstract use this imagination too, no other medium quite captures the exploratory nature of drawing — the surely personality of the inquisitive black line, weaving in and around to mark the objects it lives to create. In Travelling by Beard, Litchfield’s line surges confidently downward to fashion the beards ‘legs’, flicking playfully at the pointed feet. It outlines the fullness of the moustache, as bright red hair swells beneath the fine marks that serve to describe them, while the delicate curls that finish each ‘tash’ provide a humour that perhaps no word or description ever could. Yet for the eyes Litchfield’s line is light and barely hardened, hesitant as it draws out the slight fear and innocence of the beard’s pale blue eyes, carrying its expression. Lines positively dance before us in Litchfield’s work, lively with the excitement of the images they happily create. Litchfield’s project “A Drawing a Day” perfectly embodies this playful creation of the drawing. Litchfield drew a drawing every day from July 2010 to July 2011, experimenting with technique and the reaction of others to create 365 drawings to demonstrate imagination and possibility.