All Text Copyright 2006 and 2011
by Brian Carl Hart /
All Rights Reserved
by Allan Hart
Drawing is a way of seeing. To learn to draw well, one needs to learn how to see. There is a great difference
between looking and seeing. One good way to learn how to see, is to draw; and to learn how to draw, is to
learn how to see. Nothing good comes easy.
The "seeing hand" is a very old expression. Who coined the term, I do not know. I have been using the term
since the early 1960s, and the word has served me well. Both to and for me, the eye and the hand are one.
For a draughtsman, the eye and the hand are united as one in a creative life in search of beauty.
The term draughtsman has been used for over 500 years to denote one who draws well and prolifically.
Sometime in the 1980s, the so-called "Post-Modernists" ( Now, there's a spurious term, if I had ever heard
one! ) -- "who couldn't draw their way out of a wet paper bag" (B.C.H.)-- grabbed onto the term draughtsman,
changed the spelling to draftsman, and have been since using the term draftsman for their own inadequacies
to include anything from scribbles, smears, "marks", and chicken scratches, and, even, shit smears!. Not
only have all the pseudo-artists, phonies, and charlatans jumped onto the bandwagon, but, nearly veryone
with no talent what-so-ever at drawing skills, let alone any real draughtsmanship (And fine draughtsmanship
isn't even in the picture.), has "jumped into the paint pot" without even learning how to draw well. at all.. This
somehow, sort of, sums up so-called "contemporary art" for me.
Most assuredly, the gallery owners, dealers, and the new generations of museum curators are equally guilty
of promoting such garbage, promoting the next "art darling", and sky-rocketing him or her to fame. Some
prime examples that come to mind (and polute the mind) are Joan Mitchell (sloppy smears), Agnes Marin
(graph paper), Jullian Schambel (shit smears), Basquiat (childish scribbles and scratches), Keith Herring
(childish nonsense), Anselm Keifer (muck smearing), Brice Marden (immature abstractons), and Susan
Rothenberg (childish smears passing as horses), just to name a few. All mentioned, are "artist"pretenders.
"The culture of pretention has made the true artist obsolete." (B.C.H.)
Well, that sort of sums up what drawing or good draughtsmanship isn't. Now I will make effort to define and
describe what I know to be both good drawing and good draughtsmanship. which are generally, the same
thing. Anyone who doesn't know the difference between a scribble, a scratch, a smear, or "mark", and that of
a beautifully drawn line and drawing, has either not educated himself ( or herself ), drunk too much alcohol,
taken too many drugs, or is just deluded, while most everyone in the Contemporay Art world of both
Academia an the museum and gallery world, and along with the general public, and all just going along with
the sham and the scam for the ride.
A culture declines at a very fast pace, when models of beauty and quality are discarded. Just look around
you here in America. This is a pseudo-culture. We have never had a real culture, let alone our own culture. If
there are any resemblances to a real culture, we've borrowed those.
Drawings are a good sesmigraph of a culture or a lack of culture. I will give two examples here. When I think
of fine draughtsmanship, the first two draughtsman who come to my mind are Jacques Callot and Antoine
Watteau. Most Americans - I would wager 98-99% - have never even read about or heard of these two great
artists, let alone seen any of their art. Both were excellent and fine draughtsmen. Now, let us just imagine
that something created by Jullian Schnabel and Keith Herring were hung up on a wall next to the work of
Callot or Watteau (God forbid!). That would be a real desecration and also a good example and lesson about
what I am writing about here. I, personally, would be totally disgusted and offended by such an act of
sacrilege. Most people would go along with it or not even know what they were looking at. Of course, any
thirty-some, forty-some year old curator who would do such a thing would probably write some gobblygook
"art speak" nonsense to go along with the exhibit to rationalize that Schnabel and Herring are just as valid as
"draftsmen" as the great Callot and the great Watteau (Sorry Callot and Watteau !). I would be furious if such
a thing were to occur and would stomp right off to tell the curator to his or her face. Somebody has to do it
before aesthetics are completely flushed down the toilet.
I could go on and on here, but, before my thermometer bursts, I'll dunk my head in cold water.
Allan Hart / Jonah
All Text ©Copyright 2006 and 2011 by Brian Carl Hart / All Rights Reserved
by Allan Hart