I have a dream. I want to learn how to draw the most beautiful hair and lips and noses and spit in the world.    Identical Triplets (moleskine)

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.

16 responses to “Identical

  1. A gesture to capture a gesture. I wrote this in my blog today, how strange.
    I relate to the drive to capture fleeting beauty, to find the purity in the lines, the shapes, the colour.
    You are well on your way to your dream…

  2. Why draw? Wow, why not? For me, drawing is a time to check-out and be in my own little right side of the brain world. A very pleasant feeling, cause I’m not dealing the objective crap that usually occupies the left side of my brain, but am in a fantasy world of feeling..
    Your work fits into a very luscious fantasy world. Blows my mind what you come up with sometimes; seems like you’re going through a lot of introspective thoughts regarding your work. That’s cool, I do that too, but don’t let it blow your mind too much. Much better to just draw and see what happens. You have a definite “style”, and it’s a well drawn one (what ya do with hair amazes me), so it might seem like work sometimes.
    I gravitate between good draftsmanship and spontaneous scribbling sometimes. Both are artistic trips. Let it rip some time and perhaps you’ll be amazes at what happens.
    btw….check out Durer’s wood-prints.

    • Hansi!! Great to hear from you! =)
      I like this… hah, for lack of a better term, almost free association feeling I get from many of your drawings… like you started at a point and it led to something and then something else. I try to be free like that but aha, usually when I get too free I end up drawing something where I’m like yep. That was one thing too much ~_~ You’re right though–just let go–W and I talk a lot about control vs. more free drawing… I am definitely more on the control side and trying to find that balance.
      Take care!

  3. I’m curious, What is wrong with a well built table? What was W’s point? It seems vague.

    I was listening to an professional illustrator who said he could only draw if someone told him to draw, and he hated people who drew badly i.e no technical skill but were praised for it. He was into precision and skill, but I think if you have no ideas of your own, no amount of technical skill will make up for the lack of content.

    • Haha, I wonder what would happen if this illustrator and W were to be in one room… would they fight to the death?
      I think what W meant with the table–gee, i reallllyy hope I’m not putting words into his mouth and it is not my intention–well, what I think he meant is avoiding exactly what you describe above. People who can draw well, extremely well, but have no content/feeling to their drawings. T.He believes if you chase skill too much, you run the risk of having technically good (and creatively boring) drawings.
      On the one hand, I agree with that. I think a lack of ‘skill’ [if by skill one means a very proportionately accurate drawing] can help stimulate creativity, because you must express in more unconventional ways what you mean. However, I don’t agree with the analogy in the sense that I think even if you learn how to draw something well, you will still not draw it like someone else who draws it well (but if you learn how to make a table, with the same materials and dimensions, your table will look exactly like mine.)

  4. It is very beautiful hair!

  5. You are a person who draws. Loads of people do, loads of people don’t. You just happen to draw incredible, unique beautiful images. If you become too analytical will you run the risk of taking the magic out of the process? Perhaps ask yourself the question, “what would happen to me if I stopped drawing?”
    I draw because it makes my insides smile. Know what I mean?

  6. We draw Moofie, because by and large we suck at maths… At least I hope you do. I know I spent my maths lessons drawing pictures of horses in the margins of my maths book! But seriously, we do it because it feels good? I can tell from your hair drawing that that must be seriously fun to do!

    • ::hangs head::
      ::sucks at math::
      Luulz, yeah, weren’t you the best horse-drawer in the land? ~_~ It does feel good, but sometimes, it feels like so much work. Then I wonder–am I doing something wrong? Or am I doing something right? But then you break through the difficulty and it feels good again. ::dances::

  7. In my opinion – you’re doing it right! Like most things that we want to do well and be excellent at, you have to go through the period of “oh this sucks, boo hoo, I’m the crappiest drawer in the land” so that you can progress your work – it’s the challenge that makes you a better artist.

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