get yourself something that doesn’t matter
February 26, 2013
I’ll bet you can’t tell what this is. A few years hence, I might not be able to tell what it is either. I might still like it, as I turn it this way and that trying to figure out which side is “up.” None of that matters. It was by means of this drawing that I made an amazing discovery about something in the motif that I had completely misperceived.
Every artist ought to have some space in life where he or she can pursue an idea with total freedom. It’s a mistake-free zone, a freedom of inquiry place. In that space you can do whatever you want to do. Sometimes for psychological reasons one builds this space on the cheap. It’s being cheap helps it feel free. I have stacks of little notebooks into which I pour my “anything” ideas. They aren’t even drawing notebooks: that helps their cheapness status. It means they have these lines for writing that interfere with my drawing from the outset, something I have to ignore, work over. It pushes forward my sense of “what the heck” to have these out of place parallel lines staring back at me.
Along with a not-drawing notebook I have the blue ball-point pens that were not intended to be artists’ materials. The not-for-drawing notebook and the not-for-art pens tell me that I can make not-for-art ideas. I can talk to myself. I can say, “hmm, does that line go here? or maybe it goes here? don’t know, let’s try both.”
Through the regular, occasional making of not for prime-time drawings, I learn all kinds of useful stuff. And as it happens I even love the drawings themselves. I love them. I think this is a delightful drawing. I’m so proud of myself. And you’ll never even guess what it is, and years hence neither will I.