Posts Tagged ‘The Modern Drawing’
As I drew back the curtains this morning I wondered if it was sufficient to define drawing as dividing space. After all, isn’t that a better definition of architecture?
In The Modern Drawing, John Elderfield says that a drawing is, at its most basic “the record of a tool moving across a surface”. If I use a further tool to guide the line, a rule, then does it become a technical drawing, the sort of thing one does in a drawing office rather than in an artist’s studio?
In drawing the “same thing” these last few days I have already drawn the conclusion that my performance improves over time, especially after using a guide for the line. Almost as if the drawing with a rule becomes a model for the next hand drawn line. And the hand drawn line, looking so much more confident than the ruled one, in turn becomes a model for the next ruled one. (A method difference I note is that when drawing a ‘straight’ line without a rule it works best to draw vertically whereas with a rule a horizontal line works best.)
Artist Terry Greene posted a drawing on his blog recently, and I thought it looked more like a painting.
He suggests that the difference is one of intention:
The ‘drawings’ are mainly done on bits of paper, card and found boards. They are produced in as few as moves as possible – they are a sort of exercise – even though they may be produced in paint with brushes.
I like the idea that they are exercises, something repeated regularly, like daily devotions or physical exercises. And the process of dividing the page until I get stuck reminds me of the self-hypnosis exercise of counting breaths (“in breath one, out breath one” etc) until losing count and then starting again.
Whilst visiting my studio, a friend said ‘when more than 50% of the surface is removed it’s a painting when less than 50% it’s a drawing’ Can we agree on that?
…well no, not really.