Friday, October 8, 2010

In Wildness…

The Italianate Garden at Elm Bank
Thoreau's statement "In wildness is the preservation of the world" is frequently mis-appropriated as a call for preservation of pristine areas of forest and mountainous Nature. Thoreau, in some ways I believe, had little interest in preserving Nature for Nature's sake. What he was passionately interested in was preserving that part of humanity that wants to jump fences, tangled hair flowing with dirt under its fingernails. His call for "wildness" is a plea for the original, the uncouth, the very essence of what it means to be a human and to be a living human at that.

And so with this homely preamble I present you with a sketch of a formal garden in the rain. The people who tend it are just hanging on and it's liable to disappear or go feral in the next business cycle as funding dries up. You never know. Then maybe the fountain will fill with frogs and the hedges will grow out and owls may roost in them.

That is how this artist's life shall be: an unartful dialogue between domesticity and unpredictable behavior. In between all my posts here about ducks and dams and the sublime beauty of Nature have been ridiculous doodles of alligators, foxes, men in pointed hats and imaginary landscapes. One feeds the other. And so it goes: winter is approaching and things will take a turn to the imaginary in Sketchbookland (although I was thinking of getting some fingerless gloves to prolong my outdoors sketching a bit longer).


birds and flying bicycles

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