Sunday, May 1, 2011

I Lied!

I lied?  Well, not exactly.  I spoke earlier of my keen interest in observation, of not "knowing" the subject but "seeing" well.  - and in regard to much of my work it's true.  I sit back cooly perusing  the subject, carefully putting line on paper, producing a (hopefully) lovely object, a "work of art". 

 I'm here to tell you that isn't all there is to it!  I didn't mention the importance of involvement in art.  Sixteenth century Chinese Toaist  artists said you must become one with the object.  An artist should envision himself in the tree, feel what it is to be the tree, they said, in order to understand its structure and spirit. Only after lengthy meditation of this type could he then put brush to paper successfully. There is a lot of merit in this approach, - and some real difficulty! To be truly involved you must really feel and sometimes you'd rather not!

I've been very sick this weekend.   I'm coming out of it but still very weak.  Curled up in my feverish bed I tend to bore in on my situation in life.  "Situation in life"!  Now there's a cool description which says very little!  For those who don't know, a flying accident years ago left me in an exclusive club, "Wheelchair Using Paraplegics", a club which I would rather have avoided!   The first week in June brings the 20th anniversary of that disabling injury.  It has dominated my life in too many ways and there's no resignation allowed!

In the beginning I did fairly well,  thanking the stars for hands and mind still intact and working hard to regain or enhance impaired  abilities.  People said I was amazing!  I was not.  Looks can be deceiving.  A year later around the accident's first anniversary I finally fell apart.  At that point the enormity of my situation hit home, a not unusual reaction I'm told.  One of the ways I dealt with the problem at that time were attempts to put my feelings about loss and restriction on paper, not writing but drawing.  Here are some of the results.

I never expected to exhibit these in any forum.   The few who have seen them, didn't seem to like them but putting them here seems appropriate.  There is no critical observation, no cool application of pen to paper, no attempt to render the figure with smooth, accurate anatomy.   They are emotional, expressive works.  They are not pretty and, for all I know, may not truly communicate the anguish I was feeling but they are REAL!   I am the subject.


  1. I find these drawings very expressive and very powerful. I can relate personally to your story. Reading this blog post makes me think I need to find an expressive outlet, too. Some day, perhaps, I will write my story, which will feature digital technology in a prominent role. While we're counting our blessings, let's be thankful that we can connect to others so much more easily now than would have been the case 50 years ago!

  2. They are expressive and were at the time I first saw them kind of disturbing. The expression was so different from the placid and calm guy I knew you to be. Well, OK semi-placid. My feeling is that your art is so much more than what you are or what you have experienced. I certainly experience and appreciate your rage and totally understand (as best I can). Angry wheel-chair guy is so much less than you are. …and by the way, you are amazing! Cute, too.