Can you see it? In my drawing (above), can you see the bit of dishonesty under the table? There are five table legs, and they make no sense. It works for me. This means I am accepting the visual ideas I once believed "dishonest" to be "honest." The painter Seymour Leichman pointed to this acceptance as the preeminence of the honesty of drawing over the honesty of mirroring visual reality (I was Seymour's apprentice for four years). Seymour demonstrated this truth using Leonardo da Vinci's cartoon, The Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist (~1506-1508). Seymour asked, "Look at the legs of Mary and Anne, which legs belong to which woman? It doesn't matter! It's the drawing that matters!" Although it seems clear to me now (whose leg is whose), the doubt Seymour placed in my mind insured a lasting lesson. And so it is, I increasingly shed visual truth for the reality I am inventing as I draw. This transition is striking to me because it portends big changes. I am frightened and excited. Frightened, as this marks a beginning of self-inflicted whippings; there is going to be some hurt a-coming because I am required to give up that which I have constructed as truths for the actual truths submerged in my intuition, genuine truths born of things seen, and known, but hidden out of fear. Truth can be cruel while one transitions from the arm chair easiness of observation to the effort of manufacturing visual honesty on paper and canvas.
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