Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Desert Island Test Part 1

Beginning a concentrated period of work. Since June I have been collecting samples and touchstones to paper my world, so to speak, as I jump in. It's a kind of visual desert island test--if you had to winnow your library to a total of six or seven artists' works, whose would they be? I have been pondering this for my purposes. The landscape above is a Fairfield Porter from 1970 or so, composed from a high-rise building on the Amherst College campus, where Porter taught sometimes. I don't know that Porter, whose work I like and admire greatly, would make the cut. The book I have on him is borrowed from a friend, so I guess it wouldn't be right to take it along. But I am always struck by the tension between description and abstraction in Porter's work. It's a productive contest. Indeed, it's embedded in the very act of representing something.

Tonight I drew a modest little pine and engaged that tension myself. The best part of drawing the world.

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