To draw is something very primeval in fact. Its origin is in each of us, everyone can do it. The first thing a child will do with a pencil on paper, or on a table, a wall or what else, is to make a drawing. No painting, design, no poem or composition directly for three violins –except Mozart I think-, but a growing-line born from the hand, as if it moves out of itself and directly shows something. The first distance between me and what I am doing…
The maker sees this at first, whatever it looks like and does recognize it, because it has been born from one’s own sources, a memory of something…
That’s the way I want to write as drawing, playing like that, that’s the way I want to photograph or to direct, not yet equalize, canalize or edit.
drawing: Lionel Feininger, 1919
I saw Lionel Feininger’s drawings and woodcuts of ships and the sea just a few weeks ago in the marvelous Musée Malraux in Le Havre, especially his unbelievable woodcuts. But what ever ingenious they are, they keep something wooden, losing the fluid stream of the drawing. They become a bit schematic, something the drawings do without. They came out first and contain something unrepeatable, an imagination of the invisible, the shining of the unimaginable and at the same time the wish to see it.
In that sense some days ago I saw a book with all kind of drawings and watercolors of Feininger, that I’ve bought immediately in the ‘ramsj’ (bargain) from the fantastic bookshop Het Martyrium in Amsterdam, for almost a mere song. (It’s a pity they didn’t accept my little niece to work there because she should be with her smaller size maybe not strong enough to carry the bookcases, nonsense). Come on, start buying books again!
I see Feininger closer than ever before, not looking at his own hand, but at what his soul connects with his view and now with mine. And that’s a miracle.
You can make a drawing to study the visible, to establish ideas and to transmit or to find something back from the memory. This triple distinction John Berger is making in an article about drawing on paper. (In Raster magazine nr 72 Tekenen), 1996)
But maybe the ultimate drawing contains something from all three, because how to study the visible without memory, how to establish an idea or passing it on without finding the visible connections and how to find something from memory without seeing the landscape in which the memory can be found.
I did ask the artists who I wanted to invite to participate in the Piano Etudes first to draw ‘blind’ a drawing of a piano, even before I did send them a piano etude text, as an ‘entrance-ticket’: without drawing no joining. However I made one also, challenged at the end, here today as the first one.
drawing: Leo Divendal, 2014
Next week a continuation on drawing and the Piano Etudes, like about the phenomenal drawings of Mirte Slaats and a very special lighthouse of Bell Falleiros, that I straightforward would like to use as the lighthouse-imagination of a piano. Why not!