Monday, June 7, 2010

Art Criticism

Another view of the dam this morning. I sat right up close so the rushing water drowned out any other sounds. After a while, this flotilla of geese camped out on the top and had a busy little salon al fresco.
I drew this in green Prismacolor in my sketchbook. The paper is soft and shows the impressed lines from the previous pages:

So, I offer you this: a useless job of figuring out the connection between my doodles and an observation of the water and the geese. Art critics and historians do this all the time and assume they've had the final word. It's infuriating. If there is a connection, it should be obvious. If it's not obvious, then it's obvious that someone is riding on the back of the person who took the initial risk of actually making the art.
Ooooh! Ouch! Take that you art-challenged critics/historians/reviewers! Put down your pens and pick up a paintbrush!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Getting Focused

There's a theme here, no?
Yes, here we are back at the dam on the Charles River a few minutes walk from my home. Two months ago, it was a raging torrent and me and my dear sketchbook would have been rudely swept out to Boston Harbor and the icy gray Atlantic Ocean beyond. But this day the water was well-behaved and it sparkled in the early morning sun.

Fisherman wade up and down here and catch things. Fathers and sons practice the ancient art. I used to fish with my daughter here and other nearby places. She was quite eager and ardent about it. Of course, I had the unenviable job of "preparing" the worms, impaling them on the hook and, if we got lucky, removing the hapless fish from the hook and tossing it back in (where it often jumped back on the hook!).

What I fish for is less problematic and messy:

Here are a few other pages from this sketchbook:

The thing with the bottle caps is my mbira. It was made by Newton Gwara in Zimbabwe and was given to me by my friend Solomon Murungu who is a very good mbira player. It makes beautiful music that seems to go with the rushing rippling river. Maybe I have an example somewhere for you: "Walk On By" [mp3 file]. This is my own lame little song; listen to Solomon's cd if you desire the real thing (and you should!)

I blogged about this heron previously. I like his style of fishing: slow and graceful, highly evolved and a bit comical. I've never  seen an overweight heron; have you? I guess they eat pretty well.


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