sideyard in capitol hill (3)

I have an idea for a project.  On one of my walks I saw a garden that reminded me of my idea, so when I could, I visited the place and made this quick sketch using oil pastel.

Actually it looks nothing like my idea, but ideas are like that — they tend to occur in your head and sometimes bear only fleeting resemblances to particular things that recall them to memory.  So this drawing doesn’t look like my idea though it does bear a sketchy resemblance to the actual place I visited.

Nonetheless I trust the drawing to connect me to my idea in ways I cannot fathom. While your hand records the forms, that invisible link etches deeper into the silent mind.

I have decided to go out into the field as often as my schedule permits to make drawings that relate to ideas, ones that have been rattling around in my head.  Drawing is a form of research. Even when the drawing doesn’t look like the idea there will be some kinship, some je ne sais quoi that connects to the hidden motives that had called me to the place.  If I draw the locale more times, the connection might grow clearer.  It was pleasant being there — having to think on my feet, experiencing all the sensations of the motif — not just its look, but the air, the sounds, the breeze, the pull of gravity, the fatigue of standing and passage of time in the changing of the light.

So these are episodes of brainstorming.  I make the drawing to call back to the idea, and perhaps it will call me again in echo.

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8 thoughts on “in the open

  1. Beautiful drawing Aletha. As you know I favor open compositions with a far away horizon – which is a bit of a cop-out. Work like this one of yours, which have more up close patterns to render, really take guts for one to focus on the patterns and lines and not get lost in the details. You pulled it off very well IMHO

  2. I love your motifs, Fritz. When I was drawing this — you have absolutely identified the problem — I was confronted with a gazillion individual leaves waving at me (in almost a taunting way …). One has to accept the generalized nature of it. Also, when I’m drawing in that situation, I am focused on each color, area, shape, etc. and I don’t exactly have a sense of the whole thing — not consciously at least. So it’s interesting later to look at it away from the motif and even just see what I did. This was the most organized of three drawings I made that evening. Soon the light began to change during the third drawing and that of itself wasn’t a deterrent because I was recording experiences. But the mosquitoes really starting chomping in earnest and I was being eaten all over my arms and ankles! But I love being outdoors, just reacting to the spectacle, and to see what happens …. thanks again, Fritz.

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