I Really Do Have A “Secret Bunker”


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.)

In fact, getting into my studio involves a process that’s a little bit like this:


Practicing, Measure by Measure

fish measure 15

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?