Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Captain Truly Likes this Paragraph Written by A Member of the Winter Drawing Class, Fire Barn Gallery, Grand Haven, January 2014.

Even after attending most of the sessions of a well-taught drawing
course, I refuse to say I draw. What I experience excites and
simulates me, and my humanity responds with strong messages to my
hands to preserve that energy from reality. For most of my life, I
have relied upon my fingers upon a keyboard to capture that energy.
The more I write wapshot, go gonzo, log logorrhea, the better I like
what I have written. Very few see all that I write. I know how to
amend the mess of words for the readers who chose to read me, a small
and loyal band. For the most part, my writing twists in the winds of
the Internet in various forms, awaiting my attention's return, and
rarely do I return. I maintain my own slush piles and ignore them. I
have turned to photography to capture that energy from reality, and my
photography leaves me colder than even my writing. My attempts at
drawing are as good as essays in words in that an essay is "a try" at
capturing the bird of though on the wing, an elusive moment of life.
Drawing doesn't leave me cold the way paragraphs and photographs leave
me. I return as faithfully as a lover to them. People who are not
addicted to reading enjoy them in a glance. I have begun transforming
my log of photographs into drawings and I have begun sketching people
I see on buses and trains when usually I would write frenetically on a
cellphone keyboard. It is a relief, to be frank. Visiting the St.
Louis Art Museum over Christmas break, I was delighted to see how
every painting in the Max Beckmann gallery decomposed itself into
lines and shades for essays at drawing. I am intimate with each hand
and foot depicted upon those canvases, and once I obsessed only about
birth dates, creation dates, acquisition dates and death dates.My
drawings are composed of lines in ink because my first promotion in my
life came when I had mastered the alphabet in pencil and my second
grade teacher gave me a pen as a reward, permission to use it. I like
how pen imbues the page with its inkiness, issuing a promise to cheat
time. I refuse to say I draw. In my hand, my pen is the stylo of any
device that records energy, a geiger counter, a seismograph,
especially a lie detector. I see, and then the hand takes over, and I
stay out of the way.

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