Wednesday, February 20, 2008

chinese brush (2)

It was my first experience with a really wet chinese brush. To look at that deep black ink as something that can be erased, washed, pushed and pulled across the page, then built upon, layer upon layer, in such a forgiving, dynamic way, was amazing fun. Then class stopped momentarily for tea and cookies, a revered ritual there, and as I sipped at my cup it came to me to play with a dry brush. I loved the way it refuses to hold a point, it was even more my kind of disaster than the fluidity of a wet brush (isn't it amazing in how many way something can slip out of your control?). First you realize that a thin precise line is impossible. Then you stop desiring it altogether. Every stroke creates random masses of semi-parallel lines, in which your intention, speed, and boldness of action - or timidity - are apparent. Nothing counts as much in such a stream of furious lines beyond the sincerity of the charge. I found myself swinging and singing under my breath, and marvelling as the shape started fading in, each pencil of lines defined not a and not by a shape of a bone or muscle, but by its "motion", or by my motion as I stroked it mentally in passing. A body defined by the physical memory of the way you slapped it admiringly with your moving hand and brush. It was my favorite drawing of the day, by far...(you can see it two posts below this one)

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