Monday, 9 December 2019

John Ruskin and the Elements of Drawing

Ruskin's first drawing of grass

Ruskin: drawing of oak leaves

Ruskin: drawing of leaves forming a pattern

I first read Ruskin when I was at school. I went through his ‘Elements of Drawing’ and tried to follow the steps that he laid out for those beginning to draw. I still remember his advice on how to draw individual elements and then to move on to masses, such as the shape of one leaf and then the form of a cluster of leaves as they hung from a branch.
Ruskin: drawing of a leaf

His drawing of a leaf above, helps me to think about our close relationship with other living organisms, I am reminded of our own bi-lateral symmetry and how we ourselves have a system of veins that fan out from our centre to our edges. Ruskin likes moving from the particular to the general. The process was one that he believed could be extended into a design principle. A particular observation, such as the shape of a leaf could be generalised to stand for nature itself. When I was doing my Pre-Diploma course at Wolverhampton in the late 1960s, my personal tutor was a textile designer and she used to show me her flower drawings and explain how she was interested in exploring nature and applying what she saw to her designs. At the time I was into Pop Art and tended to dismiss her ideas as either too design orientated or simply old fashioned, but I now think of her as representing an old approach that is becoming more relevant again, and one that has an importance that goes beyond the fine art / design divide. 

Ruskin: drawing of a strawberry leaf

Close observation can reveal how mathematical order underlies everything. A drawing of something as basic as a leaf on a branch stem could therefore be linked to a vision of nature’s underlying structures. Formal principles arising from this understanding could be then applied to art, architecture and design and they could be used to critique forms used in art and design. 
The way leaves are ordered around a stem
Curve 'a' is a segment of a circle, curve 'b' is based on the stem above

Ruskin would argue that curve 'b' is aesthetically more powerful because it is varied and its form links back to an observation from nature. We have looked at issues like this before. In particular why the Bezier Curve is so important in both car design and graphic design and Hogarth's 'Line of Beauty'.  A curve that moves between one type and another will always be visually active and is more organic, i.e. it has 'life'. But for Ruskin the importance of the more organic curve is that it holds within it a 'memory' of nature, a memory that should be built into the things we make; and when we do so, we demonstrate our love of nature and the importance of our relationship with it.
Later I would read ‘the Stones of Venice’ and began to see that his ideas about visual interconnectedness could be applied to society. In particular he lamented the class divide and the separation between labour and management. In his chapter on 'the Nature of Gothic' he had this to say, We want one man to be always thinking, and another to be always working, and we call one a gentleman, and the other an operative; whereas the workman ought often to be thinking, and the thinker often to be working, and both should be gentlemen, in the best sense. As it is, we make both ungentle, the one envying, the other despising, his brother; and the mass of society is made up of morbid thinkers and miserable workers. Now it is only by labour that thought can be made healthy, and only by thought that labour can be made happy, and the two cannot be separated with impunity.” (Ruskin, 1890) Just as a separation from nature impoverishes both us and nature, a division of human beings into one class and another also impoverishes both classes. 
Over time Ruskin’s political relevance became more important to me and because his name was mentioned several times in Bristol at the recent symposium on teaching drawing, I thought it timely to post my own reflections on his influence, especially during a period of intense political debate about the future direction of the country. 
If you begin your philosophy by stressing the importance of looking at a leaf and drawing it, that philosophy will no doubt argue for a close relationship between humans and nature. Look closely at a leaf and you will see things that entangle you as the observer back into the nature from which the observation began. Knots of mathematical, analogical, material and ecological entanglements are created as observations are made; for instance both trees and people at one point or another were on parallel evolutionary paths, in particular the need to move fluids around from one place to another was essential to both, the tree’s dendritic system of branching pathways extending right down into every leaf, being very similar to a human cardio vascular system, which is itself described as ‘dendritic’ or tree like in its branching structures. As we see similarities between ourselves and a leaf, we hopefully establish grounds for empathy between plant and human lives. It is the beautiful chemistry of photo-synthesis that captures energy from the sun in a plant’s leaves and this is taken up and distributed in a not too dissimilar way to how the human digestive system works, which then releases the sun’s energy into our own cells and gives us life. We are totally interconnected and that is Ruskin’s point. He believed that making, owning and sharing were not separate things, they had only become so under capitalist structures, but in earlier forms of society, ownership and production of art and craft were integrated and not separated out into a buying class, a class that gives critical value, a making class and an intellectual class. This separation of culture into different roles within different classes in society, Ruskin believed, resulted in a fracturing of art into high and low forms. For an upper ownership class, it became more about art for art's sake, validated by a class of specialist critics and specialist intellectual artists who did not want to think about their productions as craft, because craft was what the labouring classes occupied themselves with. The lower classes, often craftspeople who made things with their hands, had different values, their handicrafts and their culture came to be seen as of 'low' value or kitsch by the upper classes. Out of this milieu arose an idea of the artist as an outsider and the concept of the avant-garde or advance guard whereby the artist’s sensibility was out in front of ‘ordinary people’, sensing out the new and the different. This became part of the logic of capitalism, because new things are always needed if you are to get people to consume and therefore 'innovation' became more important as a commercial value. Ruskin saw that this sort of approach to art would eventually lead to a total separation between those that understood the site of production because they worked hard to make things and those that only valued the site of exchange or the transaction that saw value only in monetary profit. As he put it, neither will be content with their lot, "the one envying, the other despising"

Ruskin is a wonderful example of how something as basic as giving importance to looking at a leaf, could eventually if you follow it's implications, lead to an idea about how society should be constructed.  




The artist is seen as someone who can make observations that might help others grasp the wonders of nature. Drawing is seen as a very democratic tool that all people can use and although some might be better at using it than others, its practice will help everyone reach a better understanding of what is there to be seen. Gradually drawn observations will lead to a recognition of a 'bigger picture' whereby the principles seen in particular observations could be understood as belonging to certain patterns, patterns that relate to deep underlying principles such as mathematical order.  Ruskin believed that a separation between humans and nature will occur if we don't spend time reflecting on the fact that we are both part of nature and able to observe it; he also pointed out at the time that manufacturing was already despoiling the natural world and that we were avoiding our responsibility for the world around us. As the potter needs to understand the clay, so the weaver needs to understand the properties of cloth and the metal worker understand how iron can be worked. Making and conserving are close neighbours; someone that understands the hard won nature of individual production, will waste less and consume less. Someone removed from the site of production has no empathy with both the people and the various materials of production and will therefore find it easy to make decisions that lead to pollution and the ravaging of natural resources. Ruskin's observations still ring true and his ideas still effect the way artists think about the world.



Images taken from the elements of drawing

Without Ruskin in many ways we would never have had the moral conviction that lies behind Michael Landy's 'Breakdown'. Ruskin would have hated consumerism and would have seen it for what it is, a phycological endgame designed to trap people in a loop of want which they feel is really 'need'. We bloat ourselves on things and come to believe that we need them. Landy decided to make a piece of work whereby he got rid of all his possessions, a task that was far more difficult than you might imagine. He in effect had to develop a factory large enough to cope with the task. Finally after getting rid of all his belongings, Landy was left with a need to start again and the first work he did was to create a series of etched drawings of weeds. It was as if he had to start at the bottom again and to look for a subject matter that reminded him and us of what art was always about, noticing things and looking at them for what they are. By making drawings of "wild plants growing where they are not wanted and often in competition with cultivated plants", Landy reminds us of the need to include 'all' animal, vegetable and mineral forms in our interconnected and entangled eco systems and not just the cultivated ones that we humans think of as being important to us. In doing so he reminds us yet again of the continuing importance of Ruskin's thinking and of a vital lesson when it comes to making art, often the most simple direct approach is the most powerful and this approach when supported by a strong ethical framework can be of great service to us all. 

Michael Landy: Breakdown

Michael Landy: Creeping Buttercup


To read:

Ruskin, J. (1890). The stones of Venice.. (Vol. 2) London: J. Wiley and sons



Related posts

The underlying mathematical nature of the Bezier curve
More on curves
Sustainability
The pencil and sustainability 






Monday, 2 December 2019

Collaborative drawing


Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon

Sometimes working with someone else can help trigger new and unpredictable responses to the process of image generation. We all get stuck at one time or another and our own working processes can become too well known, so when that happens it can be really rewarding to work with someone else. Working with other people is also a really useful way to try and minimalise the dreadful 'I'. Being a unique individual is such a hard ask and is perhaps the worst capitalist idea of all, because in many ways it forces us to become our own product. "I am unique therefore I can be sold." One way to try and get out of this trap is through collaborative drawing. For instance Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon have been combining their work, their individual narratives coming together to make compulsive almost convulsive imagery, that brings the implications of each artist's language to the fore.



Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon have also collaborated with Amy Sedaris, sometimes a three way collaboration can throw up even more unexpected results.





Once you get the idea of collaboration it can be something wonderful. Marcel Dzama in collaboration with Bryce Dessner has produced a ballet called 'The Most Incredible Thing', which is an adaptation of a Hans Christian Andersen story. It has a score by Dessner and costumes and sets by Dzama. The collaboration then goes further; Amy Sedaris made a film of the event, at times playing Dzama and also acting out the part of the choreographer, Justin Peck. Roles become blurred and each participant could be a producer, a maker or an actor, Sedaris is also a comedian and the anarchic nature of her comedy, stirs up Dzama's existing visual language of people and things, so that it becomes more unexpected and new hybrids of both shape and purpose are formed. As more people become involved we focus less on the individuals and more on what has been produced.




The Most Incredible Thing

I have tried working with other artists myself and over the last few years have collaborated with a range of different artists in the 'Drawing Dialogue' project. Because this project involves working with artists at a distance, the collaboration has been facilitated by the postal service, a drawing being made and then sent on to the next artist. When working via post you can't return to the imagery, and you can't protect it either, so you have to let it go, which is another good thing. I have recently been working on some new images that have been sent to me, you can see the before and after from some of these below, the drawings have now gone on to a third artist and we both await to see what will have happened to them.


The first image I was faced with was texturally very rich. The base layer looked as if it was a blue cyanotype, which had then been worked on with a layer of watercolour. I used white oil pastel to carve out a space for a drawing of a running bird/human, I had to find an inhabitant that somehow felt right. No real logic, all done by intuition, but that is fine and takes the idea right back to the original 'exquisite corpse' drawings. 


The second image (all three are from the same artist), was I think, made as if the brushstroke surface was a sky, but I turned it through 180 degrees to make it a sea. 



I painted a white gesso rectangular insert and then worked in pen and ink into that, with an image suggestive of some sort of sea monster. The insert was an idea about how to deal with more than one time in an image that I nicked from Richard McGuire’s ‘Here’.


I found the image above really hard to respond to. Mainly because I liked it a lot and didn't want to deface it.  Eventually I found a way to bring in an image of my own that suggested it was a secondary addition to the first image, like a child coming into the room and standing alongside its parent. 

I shall be very interested in how the third artist responds to these images, (there are 12 drawings I'm working on at the moment, 4 images from each artist), because I think they are particularly rich and will require very sensitive or conversely quite dramatic interventions by the next person who works on them. 

I'm also working with another artist on some ideas where we are collaborating using ceramics and textiles. Early days yet but again useful ideas are emerging and they are ones that I would never have arrived at on my own. 


If you were making a film it would require all sorts of collaborations, from actors, via sound and video technicians, to the people that sort out catering, and out of that complexity very sophisticated pieces of communication can emerge. Working in collaboration is something that can be very hard to do as you have to let go of some of your controlling instincts but on the other hand you can find things out about yourself and your work that may surprise you and may really help you reinvent yourself when you go back into the studio. 
My own awareness of these issues has been growing rapidly because of my work with the Leeds Creative TimeBank. The LCT consists of creative people from all types of sectors, including actors, dancers, musicians, designers and artists. By working alongside these other creative practitioners I have become much more aware of how my own working methods and ideas are a product of my fine art training and that I can learn a lot from how others approach their own disciplines. Dancers and musicians are always having to consider how to respond or improvise within a team of collaborators and their total acceptance of this is something that has caused me to question my own view of how the studio operates as a place for solitary contemplation and reflection. 
I'm working through the fact that the shadow of Romanticism is still cast over me and it is something that still seems to be there in the back of peoples' minds when I talk to them about why they want to be artists. Romanticism in many ways celebrated the personality of the entrepreneur, a role whereby individual liberty, coupled with a creative mind, is rewarded with material power. We don't normally place the artist alongside the business entrepreneur, but when you look at their essential characteristics they are in fact the same. A typical example of this in fiction would be Ayn Rand's novel 'The Fountainhead', her character Howard Roark, the architect who totally believes in his own unique vision, being a classic portrayal of the modern artist.  

So why is this? There are some essential tropes associated with romanticism, such as; individual imagination, intuition, individual rights, liberty, creativity, the importance of subjectivity, originality, inspiration, the artist as a brilliant creator, humans at one with and a part of nature, a celebration of nature's power, pride in national identity and spiritual renewal. When you look at these tropes there are several conflicting and perhaps difficult entanglements with what 'Romanticism' represents, some of which, such as 'a pride in national identity', now feel hard to reconcile with 'a celebration of nature's power', but if you look at the Nazi German narrative of native German soil (Heimat) and love of nature, and the use of traditional folk tales to both heighten an awareness of landscape as 'home' and of an ideal, you can easily see how a concept can be constructed that subverts and overturns ideas of individual rights and replaces them with a notion of 'certain individual's rights', or as George Orwell put it, "All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others".  The idea of genius can be easily added into other narratives such as eugenics whereby one race is seen as inferior to another. Add to that Ayn Rand's concept of the philosophy of objectivism, as Darryl Cunningham pointed out in his wonderful graphic novel 'The Age of Selfishness: Ayn Rand, Morality, and the Financial Crisis', you can see that both the economic policies that led to the destruction of the planet and the current idea of artists and the art world stem from the same root. 


Collaboration doesn't mean that there is an escape from commodification, Larry Gagosian knows a good deal when he sees one. Both Warhol and Basquiat are sold by him and putting the two together multiplies their uniqueness by two. At one point when Basquiat was going through a really bad time in relation to his drug addiction, Gagosian paid to fly Basquiat and several of his friends from New York, first class to LA for an opening of Basquiet's work. "I've never seen anything like it on a plane," Gagosian later joked. "It was like these four kind of rough-looking black kids hunched over a big pile of coke, and then they just switched over to these huge joints, and sat up there and smoked them. It was wild. They had their big, hooded ski-glasses on, and big overcoats..." Basquiet's early death brought on by excessive drug use, in many ways ratcheting up the prices for his work. It is easy to forget that Basquiet, as Katharine Arnold, the director and senior specialist in charge of post-war and contemporary art at Christie’s states, "was given space by the gallerist Annina Nosei and was able to create fully realised canvases with the same intensity and vitality as his street art.” The process of transferring his 'street-art' onto canvas, being one that effectively transformed worthless non art world stuff into art world gold. The tricks of the trade of marketing are now so sophisticated that we don't even realise how we are manipulated to 'like' these ideas of uniqueness and difference. Capitalism feeds off the idea of the unique thing that everyone needs because no one else has got it, its like a drug and I have been subject to its effect, like so many other artists
However there are other models, most of the anonymous artists that have existed in other times and cultures have operated to make objects that work as a type of invisible glue between people, ideas and things.

Here are a few:

Woman carrying a fertility doll

Backpack with strawberry doll

Someone has found a nail artist who can help them express their nationalist leanings

Henna artist

All of these anonymous artists will have had to work in collaboration with others, its just that we don't tend to think of them as artists, and if we do, society doesn't at the moment value their contributions, but what if the art market didn't exist?  Is there space for a rethinking of what folk art might be and what the purpose of art is?

See also:

Monday, 25 November 2019

Clouds

Clouds are vital to the imagination. My first imaginative experience of them was as a boy lying on my back in the long grass looking straight up into the sky and getting lost in looking for images as clouds passed over me on a hot summer's day in Dudley. Peering up past long stalks of grass uncoupled the clouds from any reference point beyond the now giant grass stalks that surrounded my head and this allowed my thoughts to drift and take me away from my home town and into somewhere else far more exciting.
A personally very significant cloud moment was watching the film 'The Agony and the Ecstasy' on the TV. This was the film version of Irving Stone's book based on the life of Michelangelo. There was a scene where Michelangelo, played by Charlton Heston, looks up at the clouds and sees for the first time a vision of his painted images covering the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and he now knows what he is going to paint.


Charlton Heston matted into the frame looking at the painted clouds

This is the image of clouds as painted by Emil Kosa jnr.

At the time I hadn't realised how the images were constructed and was convinced that if I looked long enough at the right cloud formation I would find fantastic images of all the things I wanted to draw. This was just about the time it was dawning on me that I wanted to be an artist and this film gave me a very unrealistic Romantic idea of what life as an artist was like but like many untruths, hidden inside was a truth that stuck with me. 


Godzilla?

I like the fact that this photograph of a cloud formation was seen by many as Godzilla. It suggested to me that things that are designed to appeal to our imaginations, like Godzilla, are much easier to read than objects based on reality. For instance a real dog is seen in all sorts of positions, but a cartoon dog is nearly always seen from the side. Like the dog, when Heston sees an image of God it is also from the side. 

Dog like cloud

I'm sort of drifting off the point, seeing things in clouds or similar amorphous suggestible things, such as blots and splurges of paint is a type of apophenia, or the tendency to perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things, technically the sub category is 'pareidolia', or a tendency for the incorrect perception of a stimulus as an object, pattern or meaning known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds, seeing faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns, or hearing hidden messages in music. Humans that are attuned to see other humans in everything perhaps though need a retuning, so that they see other possibilities in things and take at least one step away from a tendency to see human values as running through all eventualities. (This is an OOO objection, most psychologists would say that it is perfectly normal for people to see other people in random patterns, because that is what they are mainly interested in; which for me is where the root of certain problems might lie).





This tendency to see more than one thing at once is interesting as it creates action within a static image. It forces the mind to constantly question what is there, which is what normally happens when you see something in movement. It takes a few moments for the brain to sort out a collection of percepts. Add into that time of questioning a peculiarity of language, that for instance these percepts indicate that there is a 'rabbit' within the surrounding complexity, and you have a moment whereby 'chaos' is suddenly clarified and 'fixed' by a noun. The doing or perceiving becomes a thought. The drawings above echo that perceptual problem and show the potential of switch between one possibility and another to give energy and 'life' to a still image. 


If you didn't know what rabbit looked like you might miss it

The photographer has already drawn our attention to what is supposed to be interesting in the above image, which brings me to another issue about contemporary lens based culture. By constantly referring to photographic imagery, sometimes I wonder whether or not we are becoming more and more reliant on technologically mediated images and that we now feel more comfortable with these than we do with ones that are the result of confronting the world directly. For instance this shot of a rabbit was chosen because in profile the rabbit is more recognisable, a fact that allows us to pick it out from a very similar coloured and textured background, however the photographer would have chosen this image from several   possibilities, and would have picked out the one that was deemed to be the most clear or understandable by the audience. I.e. the photographer is doing all the work of picking out and defining what is of interest, so all the audience has to do is receive the image. I have worried about this issue before, so will park the thought for now. (But there is no escaping that rabbits, dogs and God have some profiles more recognisable than others)

If you are interested in clouds as a subject matter the artist most people would turn to first of all is John Constable, a man who lived through the period 1776 to1837. 



Constable was very much an artist of his time and was responding to a wider awareness of the romantic nature of landscape, as well as a growing belief in the power of science and objective reasoning. Clouds in particular suggested both something uncontrollable and indefinable and something that could be studied by close observation. Constable at one point below a drawing of clouds quoting Bloomfield’s lines from his poem 'Winter'.

As when retreating tempests we behold,
Whose skirts at length the azure sky unfold,
And full of murmurings and mingled wrath,
Slowly unshroud the smiling face of earth,
Bringing the bosom joy: so WINTER flies!...
And see the Source of Life and Light uprise!
A height'ning arch o'er southern hills he bends;
Warm on the cheek the slanting beam descends,
And gives the reeking mead a brighter hue,



Constable: A sunbeam descending through clouds

Nature is seen as a place of drama and romantic thrill, and in some ways an extension of the human, tempests have skirts, and murmur and the earth is un-shrouded, revealing its smiling face. So it could be argued that Constable was looking for other things in his cloud studies, things suggestive of human temperament as well as meteorological exactness. 
His tiny sketchbook studies are a lesson to us all in brevity and a reminder that when trying to make notes a conjunction of words and images is sometimes better that just one or the other. 




Constable cloud studies

Constable used the word 'skying' to describe this practice of drawing clouds, as in, ‘I have done a good deal of skying’. A description I would suggest links him to a phrase from our own times, 'blue sky thinking'. 

It is illuminating to compare Constable with Cozens, an artist I have referred to before




Cozens: cloud studies

Cozens was interested in how to turn the process of capturing cloud forms into something that could be a marketable teaching aid. His 'how to do it' approach reminding us that Capitalism was becoming the dominant economic force in England during this period. Cozens had already realised that ink blots and paint splodges could be used as marketable tools that could help the amateur painter come up with new ideas, the idea of the amateur being something that was also at the time new; like hobbies, these were activities only available to those rich enough and with spare time on their hands. 


Cozens: ‘A New Method of Assisting the Invention in Drawing Original Compositions of Landscape’ 1785

This was a time when workers were being forced to sell their labour in an increasingly competitive urban environment; because people who traditionally had made their living from the land in agricultural trades, were increasingly being dispossessed of their traditional cottages and rural homes, as land owners turned to new industrial means of production and removed no longer needed people from their lands. The powers that ruled wanted a disciplined obedient class of wage workers who would work for a pittance, and the idea that everything could be turned into a commodity had become more and more entrenched as a model idea. The problem of creating a disciplined and regimented workforce was though difficult. After living in the countryside and leading a life led by responding to the various changes in the conditions of nature, submitting to the routine of going to work daily, for a set number of hours, usually inside a dark noisy building, was an alien concept. The working day under a pre-capitalist agrarian system would have been shaped by hours of light and darkness, as most work took place out of doors. The intensity and length of labour being dictated by seasonal considerations, such as planting or harvest periods and the sky was the main indicator of these things. 
Here for me lies the paradox. As people were driven off the land, city living becomes the norm and the new industrial class of owners and managers become the people that can afford to buy Constable's paintings and who can take up Cozen's courses in art. Understanding the sky moves from being something everyone could do, to a specialist preoccupation only followed by artists and scientists. At the same time that Constable's 'Hay Wain' was receiving plaudits from the Parisian art critics, agricultural workers were being driven into the city only to find themselves homeless and starving because their skills (such as being attuned to the different cloud patterns and the weathers they foretold), were no longer needed. 
I have to be careful as I write because as the words emerge, like a drawing, what I find myself saying wasn't what I started off thinking about. But this economic divide does worry me because it still exists and fine art is often seen as only for the well heeled collector. 

So what use are these clouds? The fact that their forms are in constant metamorphosis is a wonderful stimulant for invention. At the core of image making is the fact that you don't know what you are going to do when you start. The reason you leave a drawing unfinished and in an amorphous state, is to let your unconscious take over. At some point all drawings on their way to becoming something pass through a 'cloud' of unknowing stage and that is why clouds are so important to our collective artistic imagination. This 'inventiveness' is useful for anyone, not just artists and is an essential part of how we respond to the rest of the world and accept the serendipity of interconnectedness. Clouds are also things that are 'undomesticated', they are nature at play and suggest a world other than the built forms that humans come up with. The more we live indoors, the more time spent typing on computers in dark rooms, the more clouds become a symbol for imaginative escape. Back in 1802, (click here) Luke Howard's 'Essay on the modification of clouds' had an enormous influence and created an appetite amongst the educated classes for images of clouds. In a similar way we can download from the Internet the latest advances in science and go beyond the clouds, out into space or down into the spaces of the quantum universe. However even in these 'sublime' territories Romantic clouds still exist. Images from the Large Magellanic Cloud and cloud chambers now inhabiting our visual vocabularies just as powerfully as storm clouds did in the romantic visions of the 18th and 19th centuries. 

Large Magellanic gas clouds 

Cloud chamber trajectories 

I've used cloud images myself in several different ways, sometimes as in the ceramic versions below to reverse expectations, in this case making light airy insubstantial things out of an earthy solid clay material and exhibiting them on the ground, so that they resemble coprolites. 

Ceramic clouds

Coprolites

In the two watercolour images below I used clouds as a device to obscure what would have been central to the image, as if those clouds that stopped you looking at the earth from your passenger plane window, had begun to follow you around and to always get in the way of your ability to see the world for what it is. 



Clouds as obscuring devices

Clouds are always with us and are fundamental to our visual vocabulary; different cultures will return to them over and over again, but each time with perhaps a slightly different intent.


Xia GUI: Mountain Market, Clouds, Clearing Mist (1127–1279)

Cory Arcangel: Super Mario Clouds


Gal Weinstein: ‘el al’, 2017, acrilan, styrofoam, graphite, felt and steel wool
 

Stains and blots Monoprint as a way of stimulating ideas
Seeing things for the first time
Clouds in the drawings of Patrick Hall
Drawing water
Drawing water part two