I have drawn the objects over and over. I am probably going to continue drawing them. I had settled on a certain rough plan for them and have been attempting to sort out the specifics. It could seem strange perhaps to an outsider, but I think the disposition of the objects is very important. I don’t exactly know why but I feel that it is.
Why else paint at all if such things are not very important?
Anyway, I haven’t been satisfied with the arrangement of the group though I have been thinking about the question in different ways. And I’ve made various kinds of drawings, not only studies like the ones above, but compositional drawings also.
If I wish to avoid having to paint over things — to avoid changing my mind later when all the things exist in thick paint — then I have to establish the locations of the objects now. Once that’s done, I can go back to the canvas and continue creating the painting there — for I’ll still have tons of decisions to make even then. It’s staggering the amount of choice that exists inside what might seem to be a fairly rigid framework.
Anyway, I sense that I am stuck. And I want to get unstuck. So I have begun wondering about seeing the objects from other angles. Degas said that the artist should draw his subjects from all kinds of angles. Turn the thing around, see it from the side, from the back, from above, from below. Get on a ladder if necessary — happily I don’t think I’ll be needing the ladder. But in other respects I mean to take his advice.
So far I’ve only recorded the idea photographically. And now I write about it. But I’m going to draw some of the things from different vantage points and see what happens.
I think this approach can work in many areas of life. If you have a problem — even a personal problem — ask yourself if there’s a way of seeing it from a different point of view. How does the other party understand the question? Even if you cannot know, even if you cannot ask, you can still imagine.
Gladly with drawing, getting a different vantage point is easy. You just position yourself in a different spot and draw whatever it is that you now see in the new place.
Even if I decide to go along with the original ideas (who knows?) I do believe that the additional wisdom gained from having seen the object from different points of view will be valuable in some incalculable way.