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Posts tagged "drawing"

Sep 19, 2014
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Thumbnail drawings from Henry David Thoreau’s journals

Thoreau left all sorts of little thumbnail drawings in his journals, and as Linda Holt Brown points out in her paper, “The Zen Drawings of H.D. Thoreau” (these images come from her great accompanying PowerPoint), many of them have a wonderful Zen quality to them.

John Cage liked them so much he blew them up and projected them behind some of his performances. (See also: his print composite of the drawings.)

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“17 Drawings by Thoreau”

A print by John Cage:


  [Cage] found source material in the small ink drawings of natural phenomena in the poet-philosopher Henry David Thoreau’s journals. The selection (hawk feather, hazelnut, rabbit tracks, and so on), position, orientation, scale, and color of the drawings were calculated by what Cage called chance operations.

“17 Drawings by Thoreau”

A print by John Cage:

[Cage] found source material in the small ink drawings of natural phenomena in the poet-philosopher Henry David Thoreau’s journals. The selection (hawk feather, hazelnut, rabbit tracks, and so on), position, orientation, scale, and color of the drawings were calculated by what Cage called chance operations.

Sep 16, 2014
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Cyril Pedrosa, Three Shadows

Some of the most beautiful drawing I’ve seen in a comic — no surprise that Pedrosa used to be a Disney animator. He’s sort of hard to find online, but you can see some of his old Moleskines here, and a nice, short interview about the book.

Filed under: my reading year 2014

Sep 15, 2014
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“I make places I want to go to.”

Renee French drawn at SPX by the great Warren Craghead.

Reminds me of the last line of William Burroughs’ Paris Review interview:


  I’m creating an imaginary—it’s always imaginary—world in which I would like to live.

“I make places I want to go to.”

Renee French drawn at SPX by the great Warren Craghead.

Reminds me of the last line of William Burroughs’ Paris Review interview:

I’m creating an imaginary—it’s always imaginary—world in which I would like to live.

Sep 03, 2014
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dept-of-research-and-development:


One of the many wonderful things about looking at his drawings is their inspirational message, especially to his fellow artists: Draw what you love and what interests you. Draw it how you want to draw it. When we are children we do this instinctively. But somewhere in our passage from childhood to adulthood, the ability to be truly and fearlessly creative is often lost. […] I’m not saying that looking at Steig’s drawings will solve all of anyone’s art problems. Just that giving yourself over to his work is a step in the right direction.

- Roz Chast, from her introduction to Cats, Dogs, Men, Women, Ninnies & Clowns: The Lost Art of William Steig

Steig is so great.

dept-of-research-and-development:

One of the many wonderful things about looking at his drawings is their inspirational message, especially to his fellow artists: Draw what you love and what interests you. Draw it how you want to draw it. When we are children we do this instinctively. But somewhere in our passage from childhood to adulthood, the ability to be truly and fearlessly creative is often lost. […] I’m not saying that looking at Steig’s drawings will solve all of anyone’s art problems. Just that giving yourself over to his work is a step in the right direction.

- Roz Chast, from her introduction to Cats, Dogs, Men, Women, Ninnies & Clowns: The Lost Art of William Steig

Steig is so great.

Sep 02, 2014
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Mise en place for artists

Mise en place is a French cooking term that means “everything in place.” It’s used to refer to the way chefs will have all of their ingredients organized and ready to go before they start cooking. (Obviously, it’s an idea that applies to other types of work.)

Without mentioning it explicitly, cartoonist Kevin Huizenga explains why mise en place is important for artists:

Maybe you have a hard time getting to work because you really haven’t taken the time to figure out what materials you need, and you don’t have them ready-to-hand. They shouldn’t be “organized” in the sense of “visually organized.” One’s studio should be definitely be “messy,” but only in the sense that everything is where it’s most useful. If papers everywhere on the floor makes working easier right now, because you need to constantly refer to them, then they should stay there. So you need first to get the material conditions in place, before you can work.

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Roger Ebert’s sketchbook and thoughts on drawing

While I was watching Life Itself last night, I noticed two or three drawings in the mix of images, none of which were commented on.

Had I been reading his blog more carefully, I would’ve come across this blog post, “You Can Draw, and Probably Better Than I Can,” where he explains how he met a woman named Annette Goodheart in the early 1980s, who convinced him that all children can draw, it’s just that some of us stop:

The break in our childish innocence comes the first time we use an eraser. We draw a chin and think it looks nothing like a chin, and in frustration we erase it. That’s it. Our bond of trust with our artistic instinct has been severed. We will be erasing for the rest of our lives. I speak here not of great and accomplished artists, for whom I hold great awe, but for you and me, whose work, let’s face it, will not soon be given a gallery show.

It seems to me Annette said something like this: Begin with a proper sketch book. Draw in ink. Finish each drawing you begin, and keep every drawing you finish. No erasing, no ripping out a page, no covering a page with angry scribbles. What you draw is an invaluable and unique representation of how you saw at that moment in that place according to your abilities. That’s all we want. We already know what a dog really looks like.

When he was in London, Ebert bought a Daler sketchbook and a drawing pen across the street from the English National Opera.

I settled down in a nearby pub and began to sketch a glass, which is no more than an arrangement of ovals and lines. I continued to draw throughout the 1990s… I sketched mostly on vacation. I had the time. In Chicago there was always a deadline, someplace to be, a phone ringing. On vacation I found a cafe or a park bench, or was waiting for a concert to begin, or whatever.

He soon found out that the quality of his drawings didn’t matter at all — it was the mere fact that he drew them:

That was the thing no one told me about. By sitting somewhere and sketching something, I was forced to really look at it, again and again, and ask my mind to translate its essence through my fingers onto the paper. The subject of my drawing was fixed permanently in my memory. Oh, I “remember” places I’ve been and things I’ve seen. I could tell you about sitting in a pub on Kings’ Road and seeing a table of spike-haired kids starting a little fire in an ash tray with some lighter fluid. I could tell you, and you would be told, and that would be that. But in sketching it I preserved it. I had observed it.

I found this was a benefit that rendered the quality of my drawings irrelevant. Whether they were good or bad had nothing to do with their most valuable asset: They were a means of experiencing a place or a moment more deeply. The practice had another merit. It dropped me out of time. I would begin a sketch or watercolor and fall into a waking reverie. Words left my mind. A zone of concentration formed. I didn’t think a tree or a window. I didn’t think deliberately at all. My eyes saw and my fingers moved and the drawing happened. Conscious thought was what I had to escape, so I wouldn’t think, Wait! This doesn’t look anything like that tree! or I wish I knew how to draw a tree! I began to understand why Annette said finish every drawing you start. By abandoning perfectionism you liberate yourself to draw your way. And nobody else can draw the way you do.

As he wrote in a Facebook post, “An artist using a sketchbook always looks like a happy person.” 

Knowing Ebert himself drew means a lot to me, as the only direct contact I ever had with Ebert was this Facebook post where he praised one of my drawings.

He published a little paperback with some of his drawings (Two Weeks In Midday Sun: A Cannes Notebook), but, unfortunately, it’s out of print. Luckily, you can read all of his thoughts on drawings and flip through some of his drawings on Flickr.

Filed under: Roger Ebert

Aug 01, 2014
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Peanuts, August 8, 1981

@jndevereux:


  I love the way Schulz drew clouds and the sun in this Peanuts


Me too. One thing to note: Schulz actually had a hand tremor. He once complained (supposedly in the 1980s, the same decade this strip was drawn, although I can’t find the exact source) that “sometimes my hand shakes so much I have to hold my wrist to draw.”  I’m not sure when it really started to show in his work. If you pick up a collection like A Golden Celebration, you can definitely see that his line gets more wobbly and loose over the years, but things are still reasonably tight in the 80s. (It’s hard to tell, honestly, since the drawings were always so reduced for the paper. You can see how big he worked here.) Might have to add Schulz to my list of artists whose physical shortcomings led to signature work.

Regardless, these panels rule.

Filed under: Peanuts

Peanuts, August 8, 1981

@jndevereux:

I love the way Schulz drew clouds and the sun in this Peanuts

Me too. One thing to note: Schulz actually had a hand tremor. He once complained (supposedly in the 1980s, the same decade this strip was drawn, although I can’t find the exact source) that “sometimes my hand shakes so much I have to hold my wrist to draw.”  I’m not sure when it really started to show in his work. If you pick up a collection like A Golden Celebration, you can definitely see that his line gets more wobbly and loose over the years, but things are still reasonably tight in the 80s. (It’s hard to tell, honestly, since the drawings were always so reduced for the paper. You can see how big he worked here.) Might have to add Schulz to my list of artists whose physical shortcomings led to signature work.

Regardless, these panels rule.

Filed under: Peanuts

Jul 19, 2014
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Hans Hofmann Drawings

Boston Globe:

Executed with a matchstick dipped in ink, and sometimes made on the fly in his roadster, the drawings come across as breezy finger exercises. The more you look at them, though, the more you see…

More on Hofmann here.

Filed under: drawing

Jul 06, 2014
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Christoph Niemann’s Sunday Sketches on Instagram.

These are so wonderful. Be sure to check out his book, Abstract City.

FIled under: Christoph Niemann

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