Those of you who actually know me will probably remember that I have been struggling with drawing for the last couple of years. Well, the truth is that I have actually been struggling with the idea of drawing for the most part. I have done a hundred or so drawings over that time but the fact of the matter is that it has been really difficult. My hand/eye coordination barely works for me to press the shutter and though I am convinced that drawing is a skill that anyone can acquire, I seem to be the exception.
Virtually every drawing I have done has been a disappointment, no exceptions. I love working with the nude of course and the style of Degas, Renoir and several other masters have been such an inspiration to me that I sit down again and again, trying to do something that is beautiful. I have lived with failure in this venture for almost 700 days. No, I have not drawn for 700 days but I have thought about it and tried to overcome my shortcomings for at least a hundred attempts. Occasionally I get a line right, an arm, a breast or a buttock but it is invariably outweighed by the disaster that represents the rest of the picture. However, I am one stubborn SOB and I have sworn to keep going until I master it or die!
I seldom show anything to anyone as I can see so many areas for improvement on my own that I prefer to skip the pain and embarrassment. It seems like it is going to be a very long time before I can move past my ineptitude to express my feeling in a drawing. Or so I thought.
On Thursday, somehow I ended up seeing a short film of Wassily Kandinsky drawing with a brush. I was blown away. I did not understand his drawing at all but as I watched I realized that he was opening a new door for me. A door that allowed me to mark the paper based upon my feeling without trying to represent anything other than the idea that was in my head at the time.
Several weeks ago, I blogged about my favourite cameras and expressed my love for the Leica rangefinder. This drawing is about the basis for that love.
Photography is all about the frame. Placing a frame around a situation assigns significance to it. It also excludes everything that exists outside the frame due to the nature of the viewing system. Plus, with most cameras, when you press the shutter, the frame goes dark!
Not so with the Leica. You can see in the viewfinder what you are cutting out. The edges of the frame are simply delineated by the hash lines in the window. So when composing, you are consciously cutting things out and predicting what might enter the frame.
But the frame is dominant, and by imposing a frame the photographer determines what is to be seen and what is not. That is what this drawing is all about.
I realized over the last few weeks that what I was concerned about with the Fukushima crisis was what was not being placed in the frame. The information that we are granted as it were, is placed in a frame and the information that we are denied is left out. Much to my dismay in this case. The Fukushima lies, the omissions, have been kept outside the frame.
Drawing in the abstract allows me to express what is outside the frame. That's what this picture is about and that is what I am going to be working on for some time, not in a figurative sense, in an abstract sense, in way that will allow me to work out my own thoughts without having to go through the linear process of writing and without trying to find visual subjects that already exist to act as metaphors.