My lovely Washington DC studio that I mentioned in a previous post really is secret. You’ve never heard me mention it before, have you? And it’s very highly fortified. If President Bush had wanted somewhere else to hide Vice-President Cheney when he needed that undisclosed location, or if President Obama needs somewhere to hide Vice-President Biden, well, I’ve got just the place. To enter my studio, one must go through many heavy, very solid doors, then one wanders through a spooky, narrow hallway past a surveillance camera, after which one winds upwards in a concrete stairwell. (Sorry, I can’t tell you which floor is mine. It’s Top Secret.)
We just returned from my kid’s orchestra rehearsal. While she plays, I draw. Well, I draw when I can concentrate to draw. The conductor is mesmerizing. Sometimes I just watch the rehearsal in a wonderful trance.
But today I drew. Indeed, I made the drawing above. It has an interesting origin. It’s a copy of a portion of a drawing that I’m using as a study for a painting in progress. Got that? And the source drawing is itself the result of a composite image made from lots of separate pieces put together and reworked into a new format. Hmm. Maybe you had to be there.
Anyway, listening to the rehearsal played a role in my decision to make this drawing. I realized that I could do with my images what these young musicians are doing at orchestra practice. I could take my image apart — measure by measure — and practice it again and again in order to understand the music of it more completely. Also that by drawing and redrawing the same figures, I could gain a fluency and naturalness. Perhaps something of a musicians phrasing could play a role in my picture.
Will I become eventually a fish virtuoso? Who can say?
Most of my fish I catch from the pond of my suburban Maryland studio, but for a big drawing I decided to visit my much neglected studio (in my secret undisclosed fortified bunker — and you think I’m kidding!) in the Nation’s Capital which I share with another artist, the owner of the lovely still life on the left. Today Washington DC was partly cloudy and humid with a temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit at noon. The breeze coming through my windows was magical. The light was exceptional. And I was a very, very happy artist. Spent my day just doing my thing, drawing my fish.
Hope you had a great day, too, wherever you are, whatever you do.
My kid is a member of the tech crew for the school play Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. She’s been going around humming this tune by Anthony Newley all afternoon. Here’s a fine version by Troubleclef. A lovely creamy musical thing to fill ones thoughts with — and not so many calories as real chocolate. Though actual chocolate’s pretty wonderful too.