Yes, you've got the idea!
I suppose I'm working with two things here, - the marks I take directly from the environment I'm in, and then the marks I create in response to that.
So far I've been layering my painted marks over the top of the drawn marks taken from the dock road. I've been aiming not to pay attention to the marks beneath (almost ignoring them in a way) so as to create a more genuine buzz between the painted parts and the drawn part underneath. In doing this I'm aiming to make a connection between the real world out there, and the abstract marks I create in the studio.
However, If I'm painting on top of something I'm bound to be influenced in some way by what's already on the paper. So I thought that If I'm wanting to make a connection between the two things, then maybe they don't have to be on top of each other at all. Instead I could show the 'real world' marks on separate sheets to my paintings.
It's still something I'm working through at the moment. It reminded me of a performance I did a few years ago in Munich where myself and another musician played improvised music in front of piece of film to do with roads and travel.
The set up for the performance we were playing to the side of the film and unable to see it. I thought this was a bad idea, as I felt the point was for us to respond to the shapes and images and colours coming through on the film.
However, our positioning actually strengthend the performance, as we could be left to our own devices and take inspiration from what's in our own minds at the time (and of we course we were thinking about the themes of the film anyway). But the fact that we couldn't see the film to respond didn't matter. The layering of the two things made independently of each other strengthend their interaction. We weren't compromising our playing and people could be left to find their own connections between the pieces - we didn't need to spell it out.
It also reminded me a of a comment Andrew made in my studio a few weeks back - that although in recent paintings I wasn't directly responding and trying to paint the environment of the docks, it was still in the 'ether'. It might sound a bit wooly or mystical, but it made a lot of
sense in what I'm doing in the studio.
Hope that answers your question Amelia. I feel it's to do with a certain editing process, about choosing when to spell it out and when to let people make up their own mind. It also links with the amount of detail that goes into specific pieces I'm working on - how representational do I need to be to be connected to a place I visited?