Friday, May 21, 2010


He lets his hand draw and does not try to direct it with his thoughts and more than necessary. He draws rapidly. The lines start out looking chaotic, choppy, without design. Soon, however, they begin to fit together, to become something. And when they become something, it is obvious that he knows how to draw. This is the way it is with a skill observed. It begins in chaos -- or something that looks like chaos and lack of skill to those who watch without knowing what the person with the skill is doing. He knows how to draw. He holds the pen firmly and with confidence. His lines are sure. The strange thing about his drawing, and he himself recognizes it if Rowena doesn't, is that he doesn't stay around the same place in the drawing. He draws a line or a figure in one area of the placemat, and then, without pause, he moves his pen to the far opposite side of the placemat, where he draws another line or figure. There is no continuity to the process of his drawing. He does not finish one area before moving to another. He does not connect one area with another. At least not in the usual way. As he moves from place to place, one part of his drawing connects, inevitably, with another part, until at last all the parts are connected and, finally, everything that he has been drawing disjointedly suddenly reveals a sensical, obvious telos. Nothing about his drawing process makes sense until the drawing is complete. And then, his process still defies logic and methodology, but the final drawing is there.
He draws compulsively. His food arrives, and he neither responds nor looks up. The waiter makes a light joke and leaves his cheeseburger delux and the rest of his food and drink on the table, and he continues to draw, oblivious. He is drawing something industrial. A factory, perhaps. His drawing style is ornate. The details are complex and exact. He is directing his own hand with the pen over the page, and he knows that it is he rather than anything else that is responsible for the drawing. Yet, as he draws, he is able to distance himself with his own concentration.

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