This is an interesting process, this brief foray into Chinese characters used to communicate one sense or another of “landscape.”
I realized last night that this is not the time to throw myself into learning Chinese. That was not where I was going when I started scribbling these characters some days ago but was definitely whereheaded last night. And name and definition of characters is not good enough for me. I must know the etymology and understand the meaning. So I’m stopping myself shortly. Anyway, tomorrow’s post will be the last set of characters for landscape.
In this process, I’ve learned to not worry about posting raw material, of conforming to what I might consider to be (or what I might think someone else might consider to be) an acceptable level of proficiency. This series is about using drawing as a tool for learning (not as a means to make an acceptable representation.)
That being said, what is also coming up is the inherent energy of the mark making, the nervous system laid almost bear. The expression is raw and messy. For a minute, I minded revealing this raw state but am glad that I persisted in overcoming what amounts to fear of what others might think. After all, this is what I look for in my students drawings and what I encourage them to pay attention to and to develop.
Because, when we look at artists who have really done their time and accomplished considerable work (in any of the expressive forms), it’s the ephemera, the scribbled notes in the quartette score, the outtakes, the field sketch, the quick doodle of the building idea that enlightens us as much as the full flowering of the eventual, realized and polished form.
This is just one of the many gifts of practice. Discipline serves to anchor and keep well-oiled the mechanics through which creative energy flows.