Every time I grab a pencil I’m reminded that I have a lot to learn about drawing.
Wasn’t there a famous artist who said something like, “Draw, and then draw again. Then, when that’s done, draw some more.”
I thought it was Matisse. He had a lot of great things to say about drawing. Like, “Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence. ”
But Google didn’t turn up anything.
Then I thought it might’ve been Giacommetti, who also said, “I’ve been fifty thousand times to the Louvre. I have copied everything in drawing, trying to understand.”
So, then, it must’ve been Jim Dine, right? Quoth he: “For me, drawing is everything, because it informs everything. It even informs my poetry. It’s the way I begin everything.”
Couldn’t find it in his quotes.
Kathe Kollwitz? After all, it was she who admitted, “I can always draw very well with my eyes, but with my hands it doesn’t always work out,” which is brilliant but it’s not what I’m looking for. But at least I learned that she and I both have a lot to learn about drawing.
Pablo Picasso said, “In drawing, nothing is better than the first attempt” and he didn’t say “Draw, and then draw again. Then, when that’s done, draw some more.”
Neither did David Hockney, whose Wikipedia bio includes the word “draw” 21 times!, but he did point out that “drawing takes time. A line has time in it.” Which I like a lot because it adds another dimension to art. Namely, the Fourth.
Well, then, was it I who said it? After all, I’m the guy who penned “It all started with a simple pencil drawing…”
So, not only do I have a lot to learn about drawing, I have a lot to learn about googling.
So, who said it? Well, I might argue that it doesn’t matter. Maybe nobody said it. But it is in my mind that it was said and that there’s wisdom in it. This, to me, this search for the origin of a quote that turns up no definitive answer but, in the process, turns up so much more than that, is like drawing. Maybe not all drawing, but my drawing anyway. The drawing starts with an idea, it bumps along, suffering the indignity of corrections (erasures) and re-work, and along the way it illuminates — almost randomly — some brilliant (and fleeting!) ideas.
Just like my drawing.