Well, from the start I haven’t been able to keep up a daily visual journal. To be honest, I didn’t believe I would be able to achieve that. Something with a thousand different names, from Life to … seeks to throw a spanner in any works of creativity.
A daily visual journal is worth striving for – I’ve discovered with just this second attempt – and so I’m persevering. And this second entry is about a line, a line I took for a walk.
“Drawing is taking a line for a walk.” This quote (Paul Klee) must be one of the most used art quotes. Search for it and you’ll find it on many web pages. I liked this from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, California, which appears on a handout on the subject of drawing:
“Drawing is taking a line for a walk” (Paul Klee) ● Making a drawing is first about communicating with yourself. ● Everybody makes mistakes, but Masters are not using the eraser. ● When mistakes occur, do not be afraid to leave them in and draw more lines alongside. ● On many Master drawings corrections and restatements are deliberately left. Drawing is a vital, changing process, a voyage of discovery.
“Drawing is a vital, changing process, a voyage of discovery.” I like that. Isn’t drawing in this sense like walking across new ground, a new landscape, exploration, excavation?
Here’s a collage from a drawing of a line I took for a walk the other day. I’ve been making lots of lines recently, with a spade, at the lottie (allotment plot). I’ve been digging out narrow little borders and trenches, of varying widths, around our wooden raised beds and right round the plot, to mark boundaries, not in the territorial sense of this is my space, stay out’, but to define a space to animate. It’s exactly the same as taking a sheet of paper and drawing a line round the space one is about to animate with pencil, pen, idea, …Drawing is not just taking a line for a walk, it’s about – amongst others – marking out a space to animate.
I like the feel of an edging tool slicing through green turf, exposing rich brown earth beneath. It is taking a line for a walk, but not with a pencil and not on paper. In the image above, the line representing the line I’ve been digging round the plot is incomplete. I haven’t finished the job because I stopped to help out another plot holder who was behind with his preparations for the coming growing year because of illness.
Helping was far more important than finishing walking my line. After the helping, there was tea in warm sunshine around a battered old table. Another plot holder joined us. I was thanked. I felt useful and I forged stronger links with people bonded by a common enthusiasm.
There’s a park next to the allotment site. It’s soon to be turned into housing. There’s anxiety that the allotment site will come under threat, too, eventually. Someone voiced the fear that they wouldn’t know what to do without their plot. There are others, mostly older, who’ve been allotmenteering there for many years who’ve voiced the same anxiety in different ways. If the developers get their hands on the site, it will destroy a community. It will bring loneliness. It will shorten lives.
So the image above is a pictogram and I’ll use it in my work to signify community – a place with defined spaces individually animated, whose boundaries are respected, yet always with an open aspect, a door perpetually open.
“Drawing is a vital, changing process, a voyage of discovery.”