Sunday, January 1, 2012


Happy New Year! The bottom drawing is one of my walk'ndraws from this morning. It's a view looking north on Stratton Road. I was standing in the field. The top drawing is a study of the Hopper from Sloan Road in preparation for a painting. The painting is completed, and I will post it later.

I visit the Northshire bookstore in Manchester, Vt. frequently. This last time I found a copy of a book by John Berger, Keeping a Rendezvous. In an essay, titled, "drawing on paper," Berger writes about three kinds of drawing: "those which study and question the visible, those which put down and communicate ideas, and those done from memory." He goes on: "In the first kind of drawing...the lines on the paper are traces left behind by the artist's gaze, which is ceaselessly leaving, going out, interrogating the strangeness, the enigma, of what is before his eyes, however ordinary and everyday this may be. The sum total of the lines on the paper narrate a sort of optical emigration by which the artist, following his own gaze, settles on the person or tree or animal or mountain being drawn. And if the drawing succeeds, he stays there for ever..."

"In the second category of drawings the traffic, the transport, goes in the opposite direction. It is now a question of bringing to the paper what is already in the mind's eye. Delivery rather than emigration. Often such drawings were sketches or working drawings for paintings... Such meagre drawings still possess an artisanal interest..., but they do not speak directly to us. For this to happen the space created within the drawing has to seem as large as the earth's or the sky's space. Then we can feel the breath of life... To create such an immense space with ink marks on a sheet of paper one has to know oneself to be very small..."

"In a few great drawings...everything appears to exist in space, the complexity of everything vibrates--yet what one is looking at is only a project on paper. Reality and project become inseparable. One finds oneself on the threshold before the creation of the world. Such drawings, using the Future Tense, foresee, forever."

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