21 January, 2010


Originally uploaded by cjbvii
If you were preparing for an event and wanted to go in painting with energy and vitality and not mess around with wasted time warming up, how would you go about it? You can always take pictures and work later, but that is not the same thing. Say you want to get into the juice of the moment and squeeze the energy right out on your paper or canvas without hesitation?

How do you capture the beat of a heart or the spin of bodies in space? How do you capture the momentary flip of a dress as the flamenco dancer twists and turns? The quick clamor of cymbals and the tilt of the head...

How do you do it? Do you begin with an energetic splash of ink and paint the details in secondary? Do you start with a few essential details, and then splash the rest in as an energetic after-thought? What of pencil or charcoal?

Someone(Henryk) recently told me about using a bottle of powdered charcoal to smear with fingers on the canvas. That might be a technique to get immediately into the thrust of the motion without fussing too much on the details too soon.

An energetic charcoal:

Charcoal above
by Jean Joel Spatfora
from his blog.
As with life, there are so many things buzzing past and all around us. Some of them are important, while others are just distractions. They may stand out, but they may absolutely not lend themselves to the greater idea. Identifying the greater idea in all the chaotic details is the issue. How often is it that one grabs upon one detail and follows it to a point to which we realize it is a dead-end road leading to nowhere or the edge of a cliff? Or, we discover that it contradicts another line because it is so self-involved that it is not looking at the effect that it has on other lines around it or the frame that the lines all swim in.

I think that even drawing lines must require a bit of stopping to listen and feel what is going on. If you don't do so things can get carried far from their original design, or vision quickly and require repairs or reversing steps. This is the paradox of vitality. It must be quick to pay attention, but wrought with thought and focus.

1 comment:

Colin said...

that drawing kicks ass