Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Obsessive Need To Fill Blank Pages With Drawings.

"Horror Vacui," from the Greek, refers to "fear of the empty." For a variety of reasons, hoarders have it,
and historically artists in all cultures have displayed a need to "fill up that space with Art!"

"Wow, look at all that detail!" is a comment I often get from people viewing my sketches. What they are actually responding to is the variety of marks; from simple lines, to overlapping layers of cross-hatching
suggesting mid to dark tones, as in the sketch above.

Unless I want an exacting portrait, I never rough things in with pencil. I start with my pen, usually on a person's eye, then let my pen take me for a walk across the page. My pen and I are not motivated by fear, but by FUN. At some point the drawing is pretty much all in simple "line." I was actually in line at the Post
Office without my sketchbook when I got the urge to draw the folks ahead of me.

At some point I must decide whether to make the leap into texture. I use cross-hatching a lot when in a dimly lit bar or restaurant, in my attempt to imply the ambiance and intimacy of a place.


Sometimes, to make a dark area just a bit darker, I'l wet my finger and do a smudge; a "spit-wash."
Here it is the in hair and top of this young artist. Then I've gone beyond just line, and it is an actual half-tone.


I often get seduced by what I hear people saying, or lyrics in songs, all adding another level of texture to the visual mix. This is my friend Joe de Pasquale, retired principle violist with the Philadelphia and Boston Symphony Orchestras. Now in his nineties, Joe still teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music.

This drawing was done while on vacation at our cabin on Deer Isle, Maine, in August. My son Pierce and his partner Maggi and band-mate Justin and my granddaughter Diver were performing that night at the "Black Fly Festival," in Machias. To make use of my time on the 3 hour ride the "Silver-Pop-Pop-Baby-Sitting-Roadie" did this view out the window. Lotsa' line and texture; not much actual crosshatching.
As my old mentor at Channel three used to say, "We are Masters of the cheap optical trick."
Next time; more tricks.          


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