Working into the Night, Drawing more than Painting

. . . drawing is the dividing of a plane surface (parallel to Denis’s definition of painting as “essentially a plane surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order”). I personally like that dividing to be as decisive and fast as the cracking of an Argentinean’s bullwhip . . . . Painting can overcome one with its sensuousness, like the soft warm skin of a woman, in a way that drawing cannot. But drawing can be as clear-cut as one’s father’s precepts. Drawing satisfies our sense of definition, even if we cannot define “drawing” itself. Drawing is a racing yacht, cutting through the ocean. Painting is the ocean itself.

Robert Motherwell, “Thoughts on Drawing”

Tonight I feel a kinship with Motherwell because his habit was to work late into the night in his studio. That is seldom my practice, but this evening I have been drawn to this project and have been putting in good time with it.

The quote above about drawing vs. painting has preoccupied me tonight as I was aware of the tension since college days when I worked on my Bachelor’s in art. It was then that my professors told me I was much more the draftsman than painter. That bothered me for years, but in recent times I have owned it; I truly enjoy the precision of drawing much more than the swish of color. I suppose the reason I settled on watercolor as my primary medium is due to its constitution that allows drawing before, during and after the painting disciplines. I am struggling with the issues of color on this flatiron building and will not lay down the broad washes until I settle on a fitting recipe. But the drawing details relax that tension and I feel I could engage in that task for hours (in fact today and tonight I actually have).

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

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2 Responses to “Working into the Night, Drawing more than Painting”

  1. sienablue Says:

    The Motherwell quote reminds me that making art (even for those of us self-taught beginners) can help us through these difficult times: drawing allows us to bring something to clarity when everything seems so uncertain in our lives. Painting or working with color in pastels or pencils provides the outlet for emotional expression.

    I love the way the flatiron is coming along. The details are making it come alive, bit by bit.

    Like

    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you for that. For me, drawing brings clarity to my vision the same way writing brings precision to my ideas-that’s why I continually circuit those disciplines. They unblock me when all else fails. Thank you for the encouragement.

      Like

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