Drawing is tough.
It is in fact a two-person job.
A singular person all alone can never successfully produce a good drawing. A drawing requires cooperation but more often a tussle between the mark maker and the critic. The mark maker makes a mark and then takes two steps back where the critic takes over. The critic judges the mark made with respect to its surrounding, both the immediate and the larger context, and takes two steps towards the drawing where the mark maker takes over.
The mark maker cannot exist beyond an arm’s length from the drawing and the critic cannot exist in proximity to the drawing.
But what about the viewer. what about the person whose motives are uncritical watching. What about the part of the drawing maker that just wants to engage in the simple pleasure of looking at the drawing, of absorbing the drawing and being absorbed by it.
Where does the viewer exist? Where does his realm of existence start and cease existing?
Last month I discovered a group of ants had colonized a box of old sketchbooks and paintings. They have made the box their farm and built tunnels that go up and down different sketchbooks and chomped on different paintings. Portraits of Frida and Andal. Illustrated poems of Shri Shri and Whitman. All of those became food for ants and their larvae.
It didn’t cause any sadness though. Rather it left a realisation that perhaps the most important part of making anything is not actually the act of making rather enjoying it. Enjoying it not just while making it but even after making it.
Sustenance is important. for ant colonies as well as human ones.
A hungry body cannot have an enriched life without food.
A painting is lonely without a viewer. It useless unless it is consumed and enjoyed by somebody.