I realize the vernacular is full of drawing references, metaphors and similes. We can draw things out - either by planning or to delay. We can outline or render - and these have lots of meanings. But in actual drawing, they mean very specific things.
In the past I used to draw a lot, and by the past I mean in my twenties. But, of course then I was also learning how to actually draw - practicing - and also trying to figure out what I actually wanted to paint. I was figuring out what my work was about.
So what is the point of drawing now?
I found that I still had the nice Pelikan pen I bought at Pearl Paint on the advice of my professor at Yale - it was a splurge at the time with the gold nib. Over time, however it's been used a lot and also probably mistreated. And I have acquired a lot of other fountain pens, and if I don't just sit around in the evening scrolling through my phone, I do actually have the time - so I set about drawing with the different pens.
The one below is with a "Mont Blanc" fountain pen I bought on Canal street in Manhattan from a vendor last century. It still works pretty well. There were at the time lots of vendors selling 'knocked-off' products displayed on blankets spread on the sidewalk for easy pick up in case of police.
below -This one actually has two fine pointed pens with not terribly flexible nibs. (and two ink colors one is browner and one is greener.) I like the the fine lines that can be exploratory before yo build them up, but one never gets the flowing gestural lines.
In this one below, I am using the original medium nib Pelikan pen - it's a bit gloppy like an old brush - and it was late so this is a quick drawing. i do like the variety of thick and thin line I can get with it however.
I added a poinsettia to add some challenge and some interest - color is a huge part of the plant as is the way they grow. Unlike the persimmons they are not a simple solid form, they occupy space in a completely different way.
lastly I tried a pencil, but I think I like the pen better. It is different knowing you can erase. But that is another discussion entirely.
So, I will keep working with the drawings - see my newsletter of Dec 7th for more on drawing - link here
One of the things that goes round my brain is how realist versus how painterly and 'patterny' do I want the painting? Even though I am not a novice, I still sometimes wonder if I "can" make the image "real looking ... which would mean photographic, I suppose.
But I don't really want it photographic. I do want things to find their spot in space, but I do want the pattern to crowd out the specific soactial reading. I want to evoke the experience of decoding the world.
I am, however, like an ingenue, still and always in love with the transformative brush stroke that by its gesture describes an edge of some thing in all its freshness and crispness. Of course, often in the course of painting I find that the seductive brush mark, although descriptive of the thing, is in, in fact, the wrong space.
Another thought, when finishing one wants to create a sense of finish, of visual closure, but not lock down the image, must not make it too sharp that it becomes inflexible. Is should be sharp enough but not brittle.
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