Drawing is like philosophy is like life–always the same questions coming up. Always can’t answer them. What is the good life? What is the good art? How do we weed out the good from the poop and how do we know when we ourselves have started producing poop?
Does more precise drawing have to be more boring than free, expressionist drawing? When we work for precision, is it at the expense of freedom and creativity? I mean, Durer had precision. He painted portraits–he painted recognizable things. Yet nobody would call him an illustrator. Yes, but that was a long time ago! Back then, it was okay to paint only portraits! It’s not anymore, we are so fucking over portraits and landscapes.
I’d like to argue this idea. Don’t we as human beings possess only a limited amount of topics to express and be fascinated by? Our toys have changed, but these handful of themes have not. War, beauty, death, birth, religion, love, loss, nature. Change.
Why do you draw? Out there person, reading this? Why?
Me? I don’t know.
Though I thought about it today. I had talked to W and afterwards, I had to think about why. Why do I draw at all and the conclusion I arrived at is that when I see something beautiful, when it is really very beautiful, seeing it gives me an intense joy, but also ache, because I know somewhere that this beauty will wilt, fade, get picked, get used, get trampled on. Yes, there are always new beautiful humans, plants and animals getting born every hour every minute, but this that I am looking at in the moment, this very one, will not be. He, she, it will suffer.
Tolstoy said it was a human folly to equate beauty with virtue, and I will atribute no virtue to the motivations of an animal, a plant, or the mind working behind a beautiful human face. But that beauty, in and of itself, has a virtue to me. Then for a moment without any religion in my life I can be assured that there is something good and pure in the universe and I feel an insane, irrational urge to protect it.
It’s as if maybe, if I try very very hard, I can put this on a paper and there it will be kept safe.
Today, we were talking about this with W and he wryly commented that I talked about improving my drawing skills like building a table. You want to make a nice table, he said. Ah, I thought later though, but is there anything wrong with a well-built table? It can hold something. You can crawl under it when the roof is caving in. Must good art be a badly built table?
Oh, I don’t know. And then I start to see that human lips and wounds have the same exact identical shades of pink and red and white and wet.