The materials shape the longing. You can want a precise line. You can want your fish to swim sleek as a knife through the water on the pointed pencil edge. Or you can have them crashing into the water with their sides thrashing flat against planes of liquid tension with colors popping lose from the shapes that formerly held them until the whole thing is chaos.
The materials can shape the longing of the physical reality into different forms, and thus loosed, one dream can transpose into another dream that’s very different from the first.
Whenever the pond is crowded exciting things happen in between the fish. I wish I could capture the full impact of all that takes place, but there’s just so much going on. That’s why I have to make so many drawings because the amount of information to learn is staggering.
In between just two fish the color changes will shift like magic in the water from one fish to the other, or the water and light will hide part of a fin and reveal part of a fin like an exotic aquatic fan carried by the kabuki fish-dancer, or the reflections or the shadows will float upon the water and be strung like jewels in a necklace —
— or, that little razor sharp line of light that circles all the floating dark patches — that light alone is worth two thousand drawings, if I had only the stamina to make them.
I am making so many drawings of the koi. Sometimes I wonder if it makes sense to draw the same motifs so many times, and yet I am always encountering some aspect of the image that is new. And beyond the koi is the water. Even as I find that I have learned much about the koi, I know so little about the water. And it is always different, always moving and forming new shapes.
And what about the light? The light is there also — pouring over the things, scooting round the surfaces, reflecting from points, being absorbed in shadows.
And what about myself? What do I know about the gestures I make? Why do I begin here and not there? Why choose this color and not that one?
There’s just so much. And considered that way, how could you possibly make too many drawings?