So is That How You See the World?

Peets5.jpg

Here I am again.  I thought I was done at Peet’s, but apparently not.

 

I thought it was time to move on but when I think about it, maybe I can’t, or couldn’t, because honestly I don’t think I’ve figured out Peet’s yet, there is so much to comprehend from the spot where I am working.  There’s what’s in my head and there’s what’s out there, and then there’s what’s on the paper, which doesn’t lie.  I may have all these romantic notions about the place but when it comes down to it I can’t really hide what I see; well I guess I could, some people could, but I can’t.  I just draw what I see.  And maybe the more I see the more I see.  It’s like that definition of landscape I once looked up in my Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, and wrote down in my sketchbook because it really made me think.  It wasn’t the first definition, but number 2b, which said: “a portion of land that the eye can comprehend in a single view”.  It’s my favorite definition of landscape because it’s so literal, but not literal at all. 

It just occurred to me that just as one needs to look at each drawing and ask “what does it need?”, so too with the place, “what does it need?” or ‘what is it asking of me?’ 

So, to return to my title of this blog, while I was working on this drawing, someone walking by said to me, ‘so is that how you see the world?‘  No one has ever asked me that before, but it was the best question. It was a good reason to study what I had wrought. I looked down at my paper and considered: is this how I see the world?    

Now that I think about it, although it seems like an obvious thing one does when one draws what one is observing, maybe it’s not so obvious.  I liked that someone made me think about my work in a way that I hadn’t considered before.  It was one of the more puzzling and unnerving questions someone has asked me and most interesting to consider.  I thought about what I had told some beginning students in a class I recently taught, to remember that they were drawing from their point of view and this person at Peet’s made me think about what that really means.

 

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commented 2013-08-11 14:23:22 -0700 · Flag
Thank you so much for your thoughtful response! I especially liked the reference to pixels, I hadn’t thought of that before, that it is a transcription of sorts and that I am making the “unseen” visible; that’s cool. I love reading new takes on things as they widen my horizons and make me think. The passerby’s comment sure elevated my consciousness!
commented 2013-08-10 16:16:08 -0700 · Flag
In reading your posting and the reaction of the passerby, it occurred to me that the fact that your drawings are this amazing labyrinth of lines is similar to the pixels in a digital picture. We don’t see the pixels, but they are there and as a group they create the image we do see. As an artist, you are seeing the world in particular way. That an artist – a writer, actor, painter, dancer, etc. – is creative in reaction to their inner world, which is in part composed of how they see and react to the outside world. Your drawings, perhaps, are the result of viewing the world at Peets and “transcribing” what you see. The viewer, perhaps, was wondering how conscious you are of what you are doing. As a writer, I am learning that we often write from our subconscious. Anyway….I enjoy the fact that you are making the “unseen” visible.
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