TMJ

TMJ

Posted on 05/26/2013


Photo taken on May 14, 2013


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Photo replaced on June  2, 2013
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Draw Like the Caveman You Really Are

Draw Like the Caveman You Really Are
I have been working on this off and on, more or less, since maybe in January is when it came to mind. The Fisherman came to visit in February and just before leaving for his flight home took the time to help me with a sort of moral support task: I wanted to go out and take photographs of the asphalt street cracks, the sidewalks, the entwining plant branches.

All of the photos yielded something in the way of what Carla Sondheim calls “blobimals”. But what I was looking for was something reminiscent of ancient (like 30,000 years and older) cave drawings. I became fascinated with cave drawings back around December 2011 when I first got this weird idea that I would start to draw.

The pictures didn’t disappoint: one of the pictures taken of a stretch of road that directly fronts my often-used bus stop (well, use to; they have since paved it over) had a bovine-like cave creature and when turned upside down there was a feline-like creature. The deal was sealed.

The resultant image posted here is mixed media. There is graphite; a little marker; a little colored pencil; a magnified piece of a mastercopy drawing (Michelangelo’s Eve, the version I worked from is out of the Bargue course and was Plate II, 42); a photograph of my apartment wall used as a displacement map for an image from the NASA website of cro magnon [circa 30,000 years] cave drawings of auroras [the eeriness and amazingness of this will be clear in a moment]; a photograph of the moon taken here in West Seattle; a scan of one of the kids’ hands when probably 2 or 3 which was, at the time also mixed media using blue paper as the substrate, crayon, and various colors of wadded up tissue paper; my over-drawing from the photograph taken of the asphalt cracks which was then treated to various Illustrator delights. And so on. And on.You get the idea.

Drawing is considered by many to be the most primary means of communication. Some regard sign language as a form of drawing in the air. To use an adaptation of the name the Fisherman gave a fly fishing rod he recently made by hand, sign language is ephemeral drawing. Come to think of it (I promise I’ll get back on track), the “route” the fly takes once cast traces what must be a beautiful series of arcs and curves. I think when I started to draw, it was when the reality of eventually being unable to speak overtook me and I am too lazy to learn sign language but, then again, even if I learned it, nobody I know understands it. So drawing seemed a sure thing since as I have noted in prior photoblogs, they say a picture is worth a thousand words and those words are read instantly.

Anyhow, there are some freakingly old cave paintings in France, like 40,000 years or more. But no matter how old the oldest are, here is the Most Amazing Thing I’ve Learned In The Last Several Years. And, as the poet puts it, “In one whole year I haven't learned / A blessed thing they pay you for.” Except for me it has been longer. In many, if not all cases of the older drawings found, we know that the persons doing the art work had to crawl wiggling on their bellies for miles in horribly claustrophobic “tunnels” that, if you’ve ever toured an underground circuitry of caves, you know are damp and cold and dark. How this could even have been undertaken or why is unknowable.

And if drawing is a primary means of communication, with whom did they intend to communicate? Did they have in mind, whatever minds they could have had then, anyone eventually seeing these? Did they have a conceptualization of “future” yet? When you think about how difficult it is to draw or paint something (for example, if you were to register to a classical atelier it would be all about measurement measurement measurement and you’d work on one drawing for two months); or if you think about Picasso (whose paintings I for the most part lack appreciation for but his ceramics leave me breathless) doing over 800 studies for a single painting; or Sargent painting a portrait and totally tossing the seventeenth attempt at it because the mouth still wasn’t right; none of this could ever be as personally self-sacrificing and physically and mentally tormenting as it must have been for these cro magnon or neanderthal people to wedge their way deep into an inhospitable cave environment to draw herds of bovines, horses, lights in the sky. And to trace their hands.

All of which they could not have known anyone would ever see.

I am working on a self-portrait and I’m just this far from tossing it and starting over. A big deal for me at this point. So maybe that is what this is all about. I mean I can’t say this cave drawing piece is actually done but here I am sharing it. I just know it is time for me to let it fly off on its own.

Note: the date given here by the Ipernity website must be the creation date of this latest round of versions of this. The image was started in February and finished and posted May 25, 2013. And P.S., the printed version of this looks really nice. I am pleased with how it turned out after all. And thanks to the Fisherman for his help.

Chantal HILLENVECK dite Chalâme, Colette NoËl, Don Conner, .t.a.o.n. have particularly liked this photo


Comments
Evangrek63
Evangrek63
!!!
4 years ago.
Don Conner
Don Conner
You really are embracing the use of mixed medium. I wish we would have had this conversation while you were still in town as there are some very interesting petroglyphs in the Snake River canyon south of town that would have been available for visiting.
4 years ago.
Colette NoËl
Colette NoËl
Yes ! Great work !
4 years ago.
TMJ
TMJ
Thank you, everyone. And you are correct: I didn't get around much when I was in the Garden City. A regret I will always carry with me. If I had another life to live, that is where I would go. Such an amazing place on the earth.
4 years ago.
Chantal HILLENVECK dite Chalâme
Chantal HILLENVECK d…
Création particulière et étonnante +++!
4 years ago.