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Phil’s Rants #4:
When I first began to draw I worried about the drawing itself. Was it right? How should I fix it? Now I see the drawing purely as partial residue of a process of listening. By listening I mean trying to see, trying to more deeply experience the subject. It is very much like the stages of human speech. As toddlers, we listen and try to make noises representing whatever we comprehend about speech. The sounds we make are approximate and improve over time as our comprehension and skill grow. In drawing, the marks we make are whatever partial evidence we can leave of what we’ve noticed at that moment. With time, we notice more and can articulate what we notice with greater clarity. However, drawing is like any study. It is not about ever truly mastering a subject. It is about moving forward, learning more, listening more profoundly. I’ve fully abandoned the goal of ever drawing correctly. My focus now is purely on trying to listen.

(A draft copy of Phil’s book, Introduction to Drawing, is available for $15 per copy.)

The Drawing Studio—Essays/rants

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