Lost loves, the evening cold all painted with the lights of Christmas on my evening walk and in the slush of today’s hail were footprints. Kids nearby loud on the common but these prints were big, bigger than mine but more closely spaced. Whatever it was that hid and watched and never blinked with ice in the night it took its shape from Russ Nicholson. As with Ian Millar, Russ Nicholson’s art quickens my heart. These are the images it might be said of my youth. Etched with an old pen across my eyes, work I haven’t seen for decades I remember, recalling each mark, each line.
I used to try and draw like Russ Nicholson. I didn’t copy but the busy clarity, the packed frames and the detail that crowded the broader spaces of each face inspires me still. The intricacy that I couldn’t do so well still excites me. I draw for fun, it heals my head after too long a day, too hectic, too much writing crammed close and noisy about the sprouts. Brain ticking over twice a tock to each second it’s pencils, pen and ink that slows me, that calms me. I think widely when I draw and it keeps me sane, saner, and that’s probably because of Russ Nicholson. Because seeing his art when I was young then I knew that what I drew, it was all right to draw. I admire many artists, but few actually make me smile. Not every time. Not where as here every picture makes you a part of it.
So much of me is drawn in ink. Russ Nicholson showed me how to start. Just for fun. But what better a thing to be for? And what better a reason to be.