‘Drawings Are the Great Teachers’

Henri Michaux, “Untitled,” a 1954 watercolor in “Take Three” of “Ways of Seeing” at the Drawing Center. Credit… Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY/ADAGP, Paris.

… The mark-making basic to drawing is the starting point of so much else: the development of written language, numbers, musical scores.

Robert Rauschenberg, “Untitled,” 1965, in “Take One” and “Take Three” at the Drawing Center. Credit… Robert Rauschenberg Foundation/VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.

Drawings are the great teachers; they educate the eye and make us more conscious of seeing. They present visual power, relatively unbuffered by materials or size.

Stanley Whitney, “Untitled,” 2020, exuberant grids of scribbled color in crayon and graphite, at the Drawing Center. Credit… Stanley Whitney.

(Roberta Smith, “Drawing, a Cure for the January Blahs,” NYTimes, 1-20-22)

(c) 2022 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

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 ‘Drawings Are the Great Teachers’

  1. What a nice post – I think drawing is so often unappreciated. I love the Rauschenburg you’ve included. David Hockney’s drawings are wonderful inspirations too. (Your post has been a nudge for me to do some drawings. Thank you!)

    Liked by 3 people

    • JMN says:

      Thank you, Sue. I admire Hockney’s indefatigable brilliance. I’m frustrated that I draw little and long to want to draw when I’m not drawing. I dicker with words more readily than with lines. I’m trying to blackmail myself into not posting an original comment unless I scrawl something graphic to accompany it, whether pertinent or not. I keep thinking that it’s not a matter of “I can’t draw” but of “I don’t draw.” We get stymied by notions of doing it well or not, which isn’t the thing. It’s the doing of it that gets it done. So much of drawing is the urging oneself forward and withholding disgust with the immediate product long enough to let one’s torpid marks acquire a life of their own — I refer to my own marks. I immediately warm to other people’s marks! I’m glad you like the Rauschenberg too. He has long amazed me with his iconoclastic approach to what constitutes a picture. I gravitated immediately to the 3 drawings I posted over others by the old “masters” that were included in the article — the latter seem grandly frigid by comparison, embalmed in greatness by received tradition. I like to see drawings that “I could have done” — but didn’t!

      Liked by 2 people

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