By Tom Wachunas
"Drawing is putting a line (a)round an idea." - Henri Matisse
ἡ γὰρ σοφία τοῦ κόσμου τούτου μωρία παρὰ τῷ
Θεῷ ἐστιν γέγραπται γάρ δρασσόμενος
τοὺς σοφοὺς ἐν τῇ πανουργίᾳ αὐτῶν - 1 Corinthians 3:19
Here’s a new drawing of mine called Remote Yearning: Prompt and Circumstance (graphite and acrylic on sketchbook paper). At first, I regarded this return to a black-and-white dynamic as a possible starting point for a more elaborate work replete with lots of painterly textures, along with some robust color and collage elements, and not too unlike a few of my recent Summer pieces on wood panels. Some day, perhaps, but not yet.
I’m satisfied at the moment to offer it simply as a work of abstract writing - a codified reaction to the vexing challenges of designing an online version of the course I’ve been teaching at Kent Stark (“Art as a World Phenomenon”) for the past 13 years. For most of this Summer I’ve been reluctantly navigating the technological muck of tutorials and webinars on using digital media platforms and tools for remote teaching. Thanks to the necessary practices that Covid19 has wreaked upon our schools and universities, we’ve become dependent on the Internet, like never before, to facilitate education. I remain unenthused, even questioning the efficacy of “distance learning,” all the while missing the hallowed (and still wisest) traditions of real, face- to- face teaching…teaching as a true performance art.
So this drawing is by a complainer. He’s temporarily floating and aimless, cut, dragged, pasted and downloaded (or is it uploaded?) into a sea of infection connections - icons, tabs, hyperlinks and prompts, screens within screens within screens. In the end maybe it’s all just an exercise in remote yearning.