Lines and beauty

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amelo14's avatar
This is just a response to Tim, who enjoyed my drawings. I thought it was worth setting it as a journal entry so that visitors to my gallery can better understand what is behind my drawings.

"Thank you so much for your compliment. It is not a common way of drawing, and it has a long  history of its own.  I believe the simplicity of lines has a particular movement that cannot be captured in many other ways. Lines are so flexible; curvy, straight forward, thick, thin, long, short, infinite, finite, parallel, slanted, horizontal, vertical, colorful, colorless, geometrical, chaotic.... They are true building blocks.  They are the bricks of painting.  Perhaps it would be going too far to say that things can be captured more profoundly in their simplicity than in their complexity. Perhaps it would be too far-fetched to say that lines, by reaching some of the essentials,  move us more towards the spiritual condition in us. Of course, I am thinking of Kandinsky here, as always as throughout my whole life. Kandinsky (and in some ways Klee, Miro and Mondrian) have taught me not to fear lines, for lines can --sometimes----  capture one's  imagination much more that pure natural representation. One tends to think that lines reduce. But lines actually make you produce an image that is nowhere to be found in the world. Lines make you activate your seeing and your thinking. For lines ask to be completed by you, the perceiver. At first you do not see it, so you must look closer and engage what seeing cannot. They are deceptive because they seem too childish to hide any depth. But if you can see some depth in them, then ---just maybe---- you really surprise yourself and therefore start to see lines all around you in the world. Of course, I rarely succeed in doing this, but I have tried hard for several years.  

I would truly appreciate it if you told me why you like my drawings and if you selected one of them so that we could begin a conversation about one that you  found interesting. I have written what is behind two of them for a commentator: the first is "Bull woman" and the second is "Rezo" ("Prayer", in Spanish). Maybe by reading those two commentaries we can continue this exciting conversation.  Moreover,  I plan on submitting some paintings which have arisen from just these lines. Drop me a line if you can!"
© 2004 - 2022 amelo14
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blondesRsnart's avatar
amelo14's avatar
Thanks so much! :-)
blondesRsnart's avatar
lol no need to thank me, your the one giving me a fav so today the thanks it to you :giggle:
MOOducki's avatar
ah! very interesting journal, thanks for linking it for me! in a way, it does make sense--things can be captured more profoundly in their simplicity than in their complexity. you say you've been trying hard for years-it has definitely paid off, how much you think is for you to decide. damn, i swear it here that i am putting aside saturday night to go thru your site completely. i always run out of time! your journal inspires me to try some abstration, but im not sure where i'd begin. any pointers? muchas gracias!
amelo14's avatar
De nada. Thank YOU for taking a look at it. I am planning to write another one on what I call "Radical Linearism" We'll see when. Wow, if you take a look at my Gallery I truly hope you enjoy it and find different surprises inside! Let me know! :D

(As for pointers I wrote some other ideas in another response. But another thing one must do is to draw and draw and draw in order to loosen up a bit and loose the fear of the empty white page. :-) )
Cannon-Photography's avatar
Lines, they are the hands of God/Creator working through you... Beautiful...
amelo14's avatar
What wonderful words you have given me dear Tim. It reminds me of a 16th century nun living in a Convent in the middle of nowhere in Colombia --MAdre Josefa del Castillo [link] --- who proclaimed that every word she wrote was not hers but rather came about because of the grace and gracefulness of her Creator. Thank you so much for providing these simple linear drawings with such beautiful words.
amelo14's avatar
What wonderful words you have given me dear Tim. It reminds me of a 16th century nun living in a Convent in the middle of nowhere in Colombia --MAdre Josefa del Castillo [link] --- who proclaimed that every word she wrote was not hers but rather came about because of the grace and graccefulness of her Creator. Thank you so much for providing these simple linear drawings with such beautiful words.
Lici-Rocker's avatar
Whoa... That's really good... I'm lost for words! Yes, I quite love lines... =D Fun to work with, although sometimes I find them difficult. But a challenge's a challenge. What you said about them being curvy, straight forward, thick, thin, long, short, infinite, etc, is so true. They have their own personality. I guess that's why we like them so much, because not many other things (colour, tone, texture etc) can be quite as diverse as line... Hmmmm. Yeah anyway, great stuff, makes you think ;P
ScarletSixString's avatar
this is one of the best journal entries that i've read yet.
would you mind if i quoted/linked it??
amelo14's avatar
Hi Meghan. Good to hear from you. It is great that you liked the journal entry so much. I hope that you post a commentary to it as well. I would have no problems if you provided a link to it. As for the very good commentaries by the other participants you would have to speak to each of them.
sina7's avatar comment is probably much different to the others posted here but i think i'll give it a try..
when i draw lines or tribals i always listen to music. some people may say it's aggressive (metal or rock).. so music inspires me a lot while drawing and it takes a lot of space if i have to say why and how i draw. especially in tribals there's this thing of the up-down-up-down, that each line has to go once under the other line and over the other line. i think this is a big point in these drawings that i like them, the equality (? sorry my english isn't sooo good) and that the drawing is in a balance.
i agree, sometimes the simlicity is much more worth or interesting for the imagination than the original, like a photo or sth like that. but i don't know much about that because i don't simlify things with my drawings, the figures are in a long prossess and change during drawing, as well as what i actually want to draw.
i hope you understood my maybe complex text..
amelo14's avatar
I understood your English perfectly, and truly appreciate your taking the time to comment this journal entry. You remind us of the connection between drawing/painting and music. Your tribals are produced as a sort of dance of the hand. No wonder muscial notes are themselves lines upon lines. No wonder Rousseau saw music as essential to the birth of languages. The main idea behind this entry is that if one sees the multiple deviantions in DA one finds a huge range of possiblities, but some of us tend to love to draw lines themselves. MY question then is how we can defend this sort of art which focuses on simplicity rather than in complexity. Perhaps there is no defense to be done whatsoever, but if one looks at DA itself then one finds that complexity seems to be perceived as much more importance than simplicity. Or to put it another way, when one sees a few lines one immediately believes such a drawing can be done by anyone. I believe this is absolutely false. As you yourself point out lines have a incredible complexity that is difficult to put into words. MAybe between all of us we can start to say what this complexity means.
sina7's avatar
yes this is a very big question (what complexity) means, according to lines. and i agree, dA has a lot more artist which defend complexity and not simplicity. i think i then am something in between. although my rather complex drawings like people aren't like photographs. a huge amount of dA users draw portraits and these look like a photo but still it's drawed. of course this is a very impressive talent but on the other hand, why do people draw things they could take a photo of? the fact that these drawings say sometimes much more than photos is very important. i think that lines itself or simplicity is a totally different subject than for example portraits.
and again, i agree, a lot of people think that a few lines could be re-done by anyone and that is really false. but if i look at some painters and artist like the ones that make a red 3meter space on a paper and one black dot in the could say that this can also never be re-done by any other, but i think this is a case where i don't really see what an other couldn't. that is a genre of abstract work i simply can't understand and don't like. but line-work such as yours is much different because of the background, as you probably know best according to your work.
newepoch's avatar
Your English is almost perfect. More importantly your command of words is very clear and mature. You don't have to apologise at all sina7 - keep up the wonderful comments :D
sina7's avatar
this is a good opportunity for me to get better at english and i can learn a lot, although i have to take a look at my dictionnary from time to time..
newepoch's avatar
you would never know it... seriously... you must have a gift for languages... I would have no hope of speaking your native tougue... I had so much difficulty with English as a child it scared me away from learning other lanuages.
newepoch's avatar
I think it all began with Vincent really. His lines cut through the bull and get to the point. Drawing... the making of marks is a fundamentally visual act as well as a fundamentally human act. As our talented friend ~laurasface above say so elequently - there are no lines in nature - a line is a two dimensional object existing in a 3D universe. A line is the quintesential abstract form. Sure it is a building block, but it is also a conceptural window into the very essence of perception and relative reality. The line is a critical medium by which we can explore the variable nature of reality and the intrinsic inventiveness of perception. All knowledge is invention because all assesment of perception depends on description - and description is an artefact of human making. The pure line is one way humans describe; and thereby create; the human universe.
newepoch's avatar
I think the answer lies in diversity of work. My father applied many geometric languages to a set subject producing many images with a diverse superficial 'style'. To him, the various graphic languages of drawing were different lenzes by which you could know your subject better. The deepest truth for artists is there is no 'right' way to do anything. It could be argued that concious diversity of approach amplifies creative possibilities and is therefore a 'good' thing to aim for.

Diversity of approach by a single artist runs against many conventions of the modern art industry. Defining individuality through a single (if evolving) recognisable style - is regarded as a charateristic of universal merit. I would argue that it is a commerical trap that can easily lead to an artist copying themselves: forsaking innovation in favour of comercial success.

I think the simple answer to your last question, 'how do these lines capture complexity in their simplicity?' Is that they don't. They capture one small fraction of the subject which the artist has chosen to descibe in there work. Very much like a photo. But the complex answer is that no artist and no audience observes an artefact in a cultural vacume. A 'simple' image can trigger many siginificant memories in an individual. The artist can produce a work with this in mind. Knowing that some people will be effected in profound way by an image and others will see nothing of significance. The use of abstract symbols in a work is perhaps one of the oldest tricks up the artist's sleave.

I know this does not fully answer your letter but you raise so many important issues I feel it would be better for you to read this first.
amelo14's avatar
Grateful for your prompt response. It is little wonder to find so many sketches in Vincent's letters. And some of his most impressive woks are the colorless cypresses done in brown ink of which he says himself:

".. it is a note of a certain nameless black in the restless gusty blue of the wide sky, and the vermillion of the poppies contrasting with this dark note".

The nameless black. Perhaps the nature of lines? The letters on his note, made themselves out of black lines. World and language intertwined. As you so well put "a conceptual window into the very essence of perception" But once again, a very important question, still looms . How can lines --- I am speaking of minimal lines such as those found in ~laurasface, yours and mine--- do justice to the complexity of nature if they reduce the world to the minimal? Is not much lost in the process? Or is this question quite irrelevant? Do they raise us beyond the particulars and therein lines their strength? From the lines in caves to Kandisky's lines, how do these lines capture complexity in their simplicity?
timtam's avatar
Wow, I'm floored to have inspired this post! :omg:

Your thoughts on the beauty and versatility of line reflect my own, unvoiced notions. I might even go so far to say that, for myself at least, simple, somewhat abstract linework such as your own *can* express and inspire more so than can a photograph, painting, or other intricate and polished works. I believe this is because the viewer is required to bend their imagination to complete the work for themselves, and perhaps more so than with fuller works. This has the pleasant result that the perception differs from the slight to the extreme for each viewer, and indeed can change with time or successive viewings. Of course, these things are true of all art, but I believe the simplicity of your minimalist, serene style requires a great focus of imagination, thereby magnifying the refractive effect in perception.

Many thanks for sharing your thoughts and works with us all, Andres. Please keep working the good work! :-)
laurasface's avatar
I, of course, agree with you whole heartedly. Anothet thing that I love about lines is that they are truly created by our minds... in nature there are no real lines (this is where someone argues with me about sticks and cracks in rocks or whatever.... these are shapes or negative spaces, not true lines) Our mind creates the lines... between shadow and light, between colors, shapes, objects and space, objects and other objects... etc.
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