I used to draw details that got overlooked-- the shadows of fabric folds, say. Things that don't exactly make sense. Things I would edit out if I were trying to make a recognizable object.
I am interested in this kind of seeing --not of a world of known, knowable, sure things-- but of a world brimming with information beyond my ability to hold down. I try to draw these things I see but cannot explain. I drew the inside of the folds in one rather stiff, gray backpack for at least 3 years. (But then I had washed it too much and the folds just mushed.)
Now when I sit down at my table with a pencil, the details clamour at me. There are too many, really, to even begin to get. The more I look around me, or into the drawing, the more it opens up, as if under a magnifying lens-- there is razored cracks of light, thick, tangling blackness. The world is strange and beautiful and so full of life. I am not sure what I am drawing anymore. But I have the feeling I can't draw fast enough to get it all down.
The drawing takes over, pulls, with wide hands, me in, like a commanding dance partner, and I cannot claim to really be in control of them. I just follow. I don't seem to be drawing the outside world then, but nor do I feel like I'm making it up-- it's as if I'm drawing something just beyond the surface of the page. I'm drawing something I feel there, insistent, impatient, almost bullying.
I find drawing beautiful because I can erase, but never entirely. Drawings show their own history, all their mistakes, all hesitation, or anger, or grief, or quietness, or joy-- all the precise moments that it took are registered. Drawings can never quite cover up. They stay raw and open. They say, we are never done withour work, are we?
I can only explain what I see by drawing it.