Figure_4 Figure_1 Figure Sitting Back


Almost every drawing I have saved over the years I can remember where it was done, what I was feeling, what kind of day it was- a whole set of circumstances. Similar to how I can identify how I acquired a piece of clothing  – precious items and experiences. But I also look back at some and look at the line quality, the strength and conviction which which it was done. I realize it came from that inner self that almost untapped realm which is so unexplored. I remember in the summer workshop in Avignon when we had our Friday life drawing class.  A timer would be set, I would start to draw and the next thing I remember I would hear the ding that would snap me back to this world.  There was this image on my drawing sheet that was miraculously done! Where did it come from, how did I don’t how to do that, who and what did that????    This was my second experience with the transcendental world.  May years later, I came to realize through metaphysical classes with Dr. Bill,  that is the connection with what I will call the divine.  A source and a state  to strive for.  But that is another story.

The first experience was visiting in Hong Kong.  I found a little blurb in a travel brochure that mentioned a Sumie (Chinese Brush Strokes) painting class at the YWCA.  Some how in that foreign land I found it! I arrived a few minutes late and the class had already begun.  It was obvious the students had been doing this craft and class for some time and they had begun their project and were all working and in “silence”.  I was introduced to the instructor and we exchanged our cultural’s greetings.   He slightly bowed and I smiled and shook his hand.   He spoke no English and I returned the talent speaking no Chinese.  I had never done this type of painting before and was not really sure what it was all about.  The interpreter asked what I would like to paint, flowers, bamboo  or animals.  I choose flowers.  Since the instructor couldn’t verbally instruct me he did so physically.  He demonstrated making a flower.  It was magical.  While he gripped the brush in his hand he had me hold the top of the brushe’s handle.  He went through the process of dipping the brush into the colored inks.  One dip all the way and then the second color just partially depending on the petal formation.  Each stroke was like a dance.  Very delicate, sensual and elgant.  Each  stroke varied in pressure and movement.  The brush twisted as it moved and created each part of the flower.  The final combined choreography made an exquisite flower.  Then I had to repeat the exercise on my own.  When we finished I felt as though I had been in a trance, so refreshed and had such clarity.  At the end of the session he bowed many more times, gave a handful of brushes.  I think he was pleased at my quick progress.  That afternoon became to be one of my most amazing life experiences.

These line qualities can be almost a personality profile, a portrait in a sense, similar to ones signature that experts can evaluate.  In one of Lawrence Durell’s books he described a vignette of a door way in a stone building, a door with peeling paint and  dried up geranium plant in the window sill as his “literal portrait” of a particular individual. Another comparison would be comparing drawings of the great Masters.  Each would draw similar subjects similarly but each had a unique technique that defined them as an individual.  Almost like our voices.  We all say the same words but we all sound different.

For a long time I thought it would be interesting  to do portraits in that way, describing people with other objects that said who they were.  I suppose it could be done with sculptures, collages, found objects and now I’m considering simply lines. There is a disconnect on the other hand when I look at some of these drawings and am surprise at particular lines or group of lines. Again, how did I know how  do that or where to place each lind and almost don’t recognize the character of the author which these lines portray.  It’s interesting as to what the character of the lines and drawings portray. Some older drawings express anger or that unleashed exuberance to “go”.   I remember that time.

These drawings in a sense are a portrait or biography in themselves describing someone I would be impressed to meet but wonder why that character creates these images doesn’t appear to be the same on the outside? It’s discovering who I really am and practice unleashing that which is within?

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