Sven on drawing

One of Sven’s most interesting essays is his Notes on the Experience of Drawing for Young People, written for his grand-daughter Tanya, first published in 1992 by The Book Gallery and later included in The Other Man (Finishing Publications). It explores the process of drawing and the importance Sven placed on immediacy and repetition. He says: “I always have my drawings about me, or stored away or thrust upon my friends in letters, for art is a lonely business.’

He dismissed the word sketches - ‘the first mark shall be last’ - and wrote ‘each drawing, however small is the first tiny shoot…of an inspiration…’ He added: ‘If ever a drawing is finished I have yet to know at which point that happens.’



The drawing (above) of Benny Wells, a good friend to the Berlins and a Gypsy from the Shave Green compound, manages to capture in a few lines the pathos of the Romany people. Also pictured is Benny in real life and at the St. Barbe Shave Green exhibition in 2003, with Benny's brother George.