bemusing musings of a bewildered brush-wielder




I’ve been having so much fun this semester, teaching figure drawing and painting.  I’ve had Dan sitting, wearing all black, his two pronged goatee, and a psycho-heavy metal guitar.  So fun.

I’ve been painting so much lately.  And, I’ve also neglected to update this blog with all the painting that I’ve been doing.  Sometimes, I have so much momentum with painting that my gutters fill with leaves, my oil goes unchanged, and my beard goes unshaved.  But, I”m painting, and I’m excited to say that I’m producing things I’ve never done before.

This drawing is small and simple, but I think it has a nice way about it.  I’ve learned a bit about planes, about line, about softs and sharps… and while my hand does these things, my being is free to roam.  What I guess I am trying to say is this.  Craft is utterly important, so much so that I crossed oceans eight times, to learn.  I’ve chipped away at the craft of painting in art studios within decrepit houses on stilts, in the hills of Valparaiso, Chile.  I’ve squinted in an effort to understand the use of lead white in flesh tones, in a small art studio in a Presbyterian chapel, on Long Island.  I’ve  sketched on hillsides in Ireland, and discovered that a rub of my thumb could simulate fog, quite well.  I’ve discovered how to pair bare linen against thick impastoes, in alleyways in Italy.  All this time, chasing after craft, but to what purpose?  So that all of these advances my become so routine, as to become subconscious.  Lately, I’ve realized that my act of painting has acquired a fluid motion, which implies that the craft is not in my primary thoughts.  I’m doing things without thinking, the craft has gone subterranean.  I’m free to roam, uninhibited by technical thoughts which crippled me, just two years ago.  No, I don’t mean to say that “I’ve arrived.”  What I mean to say is that years of study and work are just the means to the end, that virtuosity is not the end pursuit, but is rather the vehicle by which we arrive at delighting.  How wonderful.



2 responses

  1. The more one learns, the more one realizes how much else there is to learn.

    February 26, 2013 at 4:40 pm

  2. Anonymous

    When I listen to certain music, performed by an incredible musician, the hair on the back of my neck tingles and I am enthralled. When I am in my garden and a little brown wren perches on a branch just above my shoulder to remind me of God’s gifts, I am enthralled. When I watch the sunset over the gulf of Mexico, I am enthralled. When I walk into a dear friend’s studio and behold what his talented hands and heart have wrought, I am enthralled and so very very thankful.

    February 26, 2013 at 7:56 pm

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