Monday, February 3, 2014

Under Ice

The island
charcoal, wash
The delicate fringes of ice around the island indicate the gradually falling water level. The ice is lacy, placenta-like, like a jellyfish sinking and rising in warmer waters. Beneath these thin icy skirts percolate dark watery blobs where the flowing waves touch the ice.

I think how good it would be to take a film and just focus on the mesmerizing blobs (like a Lava Lamp!) but I haven't the technology. And, the world is full of so many stimuli that could be more accurately presented as motion and light. But I'm a draftsman and I draw things and freeze the moments. A drawing is only one of an infinite number of perceived moments. The pictures are like the dark blobs forever flowing downstream.
I wonder how many millions of gallons of moments have flowed between the banks of my mind…


  1. Dear Rob, I'm sorry, but I can not agree with you. A drawing does not freeze the moment , a photograph does, a drawing unfolds itself Always in time. John Berger has written about it, I do not find the book right now. Anyway, I see in your drawings always the wind, the cold, I always hear a duck quacking near by, I look up, if not perhaps the gray heron is there somewhere, I hear the water, and most of all I see you with the sketchbook and pencils, see how cold it is, and then suddenly I get clear, what a wonderful thing it is, to draw, to have a look at the world, at this place, were ever I am, to have a pencil, to draw a line, and then all of these television films can get lost. With the help of your pictures, your stories my imagination produces much better films. Kind regards.

  2. Klaus, Thank you for bringing John Berger into this commentary. You and he are correct of course: a drawing includes the passage of time and movement (of all things) in its becoming and being. I am lucky that you are familiar with this series of drawn artifacts and can hear the quacking duck when it is not visible in the drawing (perhaps you should see a psychologist or ear doctor!)
    When drawing Nature one can wish for it to slow down so the beauty can be captured. Captured in such a way that suggests the enormous quantity of information and sensation one experiences "sur la motif" à la Cezanne! Alas, I hover somewhere between documentary and testimony.Thank you very much for your thoughtful and fun comments.

  3. Rob, I have found a great website with sketchbooks of Monet. Maybe you know the books already, but I had so much joy to see the Monet drawings, that I wanted to send you the link:

  4. Klaus, thank you for the Monet sketchbook link. They are wonderful and revealing. I have a different appreciation for him now. Incidentally, The Clark Art Museum is in Massachusetts.


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