Wednesday, January 19, 2011
So here I am in my apartment, having started the day by sketching the flowers on the windowsill. When you try to come up with marks that read as chrysanthemums, you do begin to understand Van Gogh and Japanese art. The trick is to avoid photographic representation and rather to provide a language, a transcription, a translation, a geomantic summons of the Family Asteraceae.
But maps, useful as they are, lack the smell, sound, movement and dimensionality of the "real" world. The perceived/received world is always changing itself and changing us, and so provides a richer source for visual language than any given by a printed or digital layout. This is why I am always so delighted to come into my light-filled Brooklyn apartment and find the vase of florist's brilliant yellow mums - and why I am equally pleased to be out among the profligate early yellow buttercups and late spikes of goldenrod in Lincolnville.