11 March 2016

The Happy Accident

Who can say exactly why we create what we create at any given time. 

Certainly, the intellect plays a role in the planning and execution of a work; but there are those moments that transcend simple intellectual application.

You know what I mean.

Case in point, this drawing.  

Contemplating the Higgs Boson
Charcoal on paper

In fact, it didn't start out as a drawing at all.  

I took a piece of grey-scale paper, nothing more than a scrap (the vertical lines were artifacts from an earlier project), with the intent of judging how several new charcoal pencils would interact with the textured surface.  Each of the pencils was of a different degree of softness, so to gauge the effect, I laid each flat against the paper and dragged diagonally.  Once that was done, I took up one of the pencils and, without putting any thought to it, scrawled the face.

The entire enterprise took less than a minute, and when it was complete I was surprised and pleased with the outcome.  To this day, it remains a favorite piece of mine, in large part because it wasn't the product of intellectualizing; rather, it sprang from a place of spontaneity, a well of spirit understood by Zen artists -- sumi-e painters and calligraphers and practitioners of ikebana flower arranging, for example.

I have other pieces which fall into this category, and I will explore them in future posts. I'll wager you have your own such stories, and I'd welcome hearing them.

Readers agree -- my brother's debut novel is terrifying and irresistible.

"It takes hold from the first page and won't let go!"  CE, Illinois
"I read three chapters and was completely gripped!"  VB, London
"I found myself not being able to put the book down . . . it just got better and better!"  LS, Arizona

Find out for yourself!

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