I watched the “Sunday Morning Show” on CBS, yesterday, with disgust. The feature that left my early morning disposition in tatters focused on “Writers Who Paint”. Over and over it was the same story… “writing is such hard work, writing can be such a difficult art form… that’s why I’m so relieved to have my painting to run to when writing gets too difficult, because painting is just easy fun”. Of course due to their renown as writers, they had no trouble, what so ever, getting their half-assed painting attempts exhibited in recognized galleries. It was insulting… but probably no less contemptuous than the hoards of “artists” that wait to create until retirement. There were roughly 20,000+ “artists” in Santa Fe that were so enamored by the “artist friends”, that they had made while living in the region, that they too awoke one day to the sound of trumpets and smell of pre-packaged Grumbacher oil paint. My wife asked me just the other day, “why is it that everyone seems to think they can paint, if they can’t do anything else?” Is this the true legacy my beloved modernists and abstract expressionists have left in their wake?
The above complaints bring me full-circle to the technical prowess of drawing. That telltale art form that separates the men from the boys. A former teacher, Mrs. Clark, was in attendance at my last opening at the Harwell Museum. She brought a small gift. A Derwent Sketching Pencil Tin. I was at once reliving my once forgotten love for simply drawing. I sketch for paintings, I sketch to workout ideas… but I couldn’t recall the last time I sketched for the sake of drawing. Now here I am, a few weeks later. I’ve once again picked-up my search for that perfect contour line. Reliving the blending of base mediums such as charcoal, graphite and terra cotta-colored chalks. – DN