“Nulla dies sine linea”

klee drawing

Gespenst eines Genies (Ghost of a Genius), 1922, by Paul Klee. Photograph: Archivart/Alamy.

I see almost daily in the work of fellow bloggers luminous evidence of the play of eye and hand across a surface with some object — pen, crayon, brush, mouse — that leaves expressive marks. Laura Cumming, art critic for The Guardian, says in her well illustrated essay that the impulse to draw is deeply ingrained in humans.

To draw is to see, to learn, to understand. It is thought on the page; pure discovery, in John Berger’s phrase. It may describe the story of its own making, the trials and errors and corrections, the line hurtling or slowing, hesitant or incisive, perhaps finally triumphant. It gets to the page live and direct, brain to nib or sharpened tip, without the encumbrances of any other media.

A sketchbook… is a world of infinite pardon where you can experiment for ever. Nulla dies sine linea – no day without a line, so says Pliny.

(Laura Cumming, “Make your mark: the enduring joy of drawing,” The Guardian, 4-21-19)

(c) 2019 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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4 Responses to “Nulla dies sine linea”

  1. “A world of infinite pardon”. We all need that and how wonderful that it exits in every sketchbook. I’ve read another blogger’s response to this article today. I will find a link

    Liked by 1 person

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