Hermes' Wings

History, Writing and Personal Musings


The Turmoil of Art

Occasionally, a primordial urging forces me to turn to pencil art. Many of the results are haphazard in their subject matter. But to be perfectly honest I find the act of drawing to be somewhat boring although strangely pleasurable in the same instance. Once, I painted with oils and did several pastel works, but have not done either in years. These days, I mostly draw if I require an illustration for something in particular or if I feel the urge to sense pencil scraping against paper. Yes, I know it’s a bizarre sensation, but the sentiment can be chalked up to the dopamine in our brains, that inexplicable chemical secretion that urges our sense of motivation and ultimately, satisfaction. At least, that is my explanation.

The scale of art detail or its sloppiness is dictated by how much time goes into them. I use the standard A4 size printing paper courtesy of the Hewlett-Packard paper mills. For most drawings, I set aside 20 minutes to an hour. A few go right into the wastebasket  – an act not assuaged by the thoughts of valuable tree acreage lost in the Amazon each day. In this think this onset of disappointment is another human chemical reaction, an intense displeasure at something one had the power to create, and botched. But better the trash can than the alternative.

Walt Whitman once famously recorded the successful completion of a masterpiece with the exuberant self-praise, “Ah, spontaneous me.” The old man was surely exaggerating. Spontaneity is not always brilliance. Too many people think that spontaneity in art (and even writing) is common genius. Far from it. As E.B. White once said, creating the perfect work involves cultivating patience, like a sharpshooter resigning himself to the wait, for the correct frame of mind, for the quarry of inspiratus to come along. Perhaps that is why all of us are in danger of becoming sloppy at times, because we tire of all that waiting.

Arguably, the point of piece of art is not to bring attention to its construction but to bear all focus on the subject itself. The drawing should reveal something about the character of the subject. In portraits, if I can manage to show something of the nature of human beings, a glimmer of defiance, pleasure or fear, I can sleep like a baby at nights. Most people picture the life of an artist to be one of blissful reverie. I think it to be one of turmoil, in which the artist constantly fights his or her skill to not only portray a vision of the physical and also the underlying ethos of a subject, to uncover a truth. Be advised that some of the so-called art on this site is not actually art. A mere illustration is not art. It is merely an illustration; merely, used-up paper. But that is not to say that I derived little pleasure in creating it.

The Stearman Kaydet

2 responses to “Artwork

  1. Anonymous September 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Hi, I wanted to ask you if I may use your Stearman on the front cover of a script I am writing, that involves a couple of adventurers that go across America in a Stearman. The script is spec, and thus no money, and I drive a cab. But, if I am lucky enough to sell the script, I will happily pay you something for the illustration/artwork. Having read your intro on the web page I am not sure which you consider this to be.

    • Akhil Kadidal September 11, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      Hi, I have no idea what your name is, but don’t worry about paying me for use of the drawing.

      Thanks for asking permission. Just glad to hear that you’re following your dreams. Good luck with your script.

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