13 sept. 2011


I was reading Ruskin's book on drawing. It is worth reading whether you draw or not, simply because it is a fine book for learning to see better. I learned of it from a facebook friend--Mark Scroggins if memory serves.

Natural forms, according to Ruskin, have curved lines. Straight lines usually indicate something man-made. Natural curves are typically gradated, that is, they aren't perfect arcs of a circle but become more curved on one end than the other. Think of the typical shape of the branch of a tree. Ruskin also has some keen observations about the repetition and radiation of natural forms.

He says if you can draw a rock you can draw anything.

I'm also reading and working out of an interesting book about hand-drum soloing. What these two books have in common is the way they point to principles that might be obvious to people who know about them already, but have the force of revelation to other readers, like myself.

4 comentarios:

Amateur Reader dijo...

The first volume of The Stones of Venice features a plate with a variety of Ruskin's curves. I scanned and posted it here.

Jonathan dijo...

Great, thanks! I am reading Stones of Venice too. I just love the title of it.

Amateur Reader dijo...

I began with an abridgment of Stones of Venice, but a few minutes leafing through the real thing corrected that mistake.

Vance Maverick dijo...

I wonder if these lines were what lay behind Duchamp's "standard stoppages". And if behind them in turn lie Hogarth's line of beauty and Sterne's digressive curves....Ruskin is great, though undeniably idiosyncratic.