I’ve been experimenting with brush and ink lately.

I did this little rendering for a graphic novel in the works for my MFA studies…I drew out the houses but didn’t have a clue as to how i would do the brushwork. It just happened. Sure, before this drawing there have been thousands…so I had that experience, but past is past.

It’s not perfect, but as it was taking shape I could hear Bruce Springsteen’s “My Hometown” playing in my head.

It was magic.

In my sophomore year of undergraduate study, I took a class called Introduction to Cinema. It was an upper level art history course – at a point when I was trying to figure out if art was something I really wanted to go into. One of the first movies we examined was Orson Welles’ 1941 masterpiece Citizen Kane. Even though I was a huge fan of early motion picture history (silent comedies especially) I had never seen Kane. Before the screening the professor, Dr. Arthur Lennig, spent an hour lecturing about Welles’ eye, his technique, the story, and his groundbreaking innovations—everything a good professor should do. He even told us about the time he met and spoke to Mr. Welles. Once the lecture was over, the movie was screened.

I didn’t like it.

At the time, I didn’t fully understand why I felt that way. Citizen Kane is a masterpiece! What was wrong with me? Later on, I saw that Dr. Lennig’s lecture pointed out how the magician did his tricks. I wasn’t watching the movie, I was looking at the dessert cart while chewing on a fine dinner I didn’t taste. I’ve since developed an appreciation for Citizen Kane but wondered what my experience would’ve been like had I not gotten that lecture.

This is why I HATE over analyzing my work. I want the magic every once in a while. I don’t want to know where the rabbit comes from or if that playing card is up a sleeve. I just want to enjoy the trick. It’s good to know technique, but he magic has to stay magic.

Categories: grad school life