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February 08, 2004
drawing... ahead...

The floor is littered with layers of paper. There are some odd magazines, some bills, some receipts. I somehow decided to organize that box behind the sofa, just as an attempt to procrastinate a little, get a bit of a breathing room.
The table is packed with layers of paper. There is a pile of books, some filled with drawings, some with other people’s ideas. I wonder why I always select the challenging paper to work on. WHy don’t I just stick to the paper I like? Why do I create little piles of seemingly identical looking sheets that happen to have a completely different tooth to them, and also a different thirst. The ink just either floats on the surface, waiting for my hand to touch it again, so it can smear into some at first unwanted shape, or there sheet just soaks up and bleeds and pulls in the blue liquid as if we were going out of ink so very soon. (and then we do.)
I will probably just take the things that are in front of me on the floor now, pack them back into that “special” box, sit down at the table again and just keep drawing. The completion of the pieces is just a little step in the process. What follows is often a mixed game of love and hate. Some of the work is just adorable, it is okay, some is just pure bad habit, the easy way out, a shortcut, a cut corner. I hate the easy pieces. I do not like cutting corners in my work. It is like cheating myself out of the good stuff. Drawing should look easy, but it is not easy because of that. And maybe this is why I have this pile of various surprise papers and this is why I try to use some old and surprise filled pens… It is to make things more difficult, to make each line a challenge. It might all look as easy as possible, but it is just better when it somehow is not…

On a related note, I opened a box with old drawings yesterday, just to discover that some of the ink that was exposed to air has oxidized in the paper, making the pieces look as if they were drawn by someone else… well, at least for me, they somehow looked as if drawn by someone else.
I guess this is not so bad… If the drawings could see, and they saw me now, taking them out of the box… they surely would also think that I am someone else… Hmm… it is never the same person drawing… even the beginning of a line is often drawn by a different person than the end of it… the progression might be incredibly subtle… but it is there… as we are all moving father away from the first to the last stroke…


Your story reminds me of Slow Hand Luke. He stepped out on the dusty streets of Tombstone for a showdown at high noon with Greasy Gus. Luke had packed his favorite six shooter , wore his finest duds and now found himself at centerstage for battle. Gus cried out "heh Luke you think you can hit me with that peashooter of yours?" Luke thought for a second and then regailed Gus in the ballistics of his handgun and how he had practiced for years and even made it to the olympics. About an Hour later his diatribe was finished. Now Gus was getting impatient but he had to make a comment about Lukes finest duds. " Heh Luke what the hell are you doin wearin church clothes to an old time western gunfight. Luke proceeded to tell the story of how he met a tailor in Hong Kong who could make the most incredible clothes and fit them perfectly to your body. Onlookers by now had left the scene and Gus tired of standing had sat down in the dust. An onlooker felt compelled to question Luke before the sun went down. "Luke do you want to get at it or do you want to spend the rest of your life thinking about getting at it?

Posted by: Uwe on February 8, 2004 03:21 PM

Hmm... imagine Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr had heard your story... who knows what would have happened...
Not all people are full time gunmen, you know... ; )

Posted by: Witold Riedel on February 8, 2004 03:53 PM

I am reminded of the traditional tale of two Buddhist monks who came to a river and saw a woman in distress who was unable to cross it. One monk picked her up and carried her across, putting her down on the opposite shore. The monks continued walking. Later that evening the other monk remarked that he was amazed his brother monk had carried a woman across the river. The first monk observed that he had left the woman on the shore after carrying her but that his brother monk had been carrying her (in his mind) ever since.

Posted by: Stephan on February 8, 2004 10:37 PM
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