The Technique that Creates the Illusion

Artist Statement
by Bert Kupferman

I describe the images that I draw as a minimum of means with the motion of line.

A Bird (2008), Pen and Ink on Watercolor Paper, 22" x 30" (57cm x 76cm)

It is the image, the illusion, and the technique that creates the illusion that concerns me.

A line is an element on its own right.

I find the use of ink unforgiving, it does not lie and speaks of the journey.

I choose to draw at a distance, by placing my paper on the floor and attaching my pen or pencil to a long dowel.

This allows me to create a different line than if I was seated on a chair, drawing at a table.

In this way, I am able to see more fully the overall progression and development.

It also allows me to work 360 degrees in two dimensions dissolving lines into tonal levels.

As I draw, I am able to walk around the paper, which adds to the movement, the energy, and my vision.



See also: The Zen of Seeing: Seeing/Drawing as Meditation and The Awakened Eye by Frederick Franck

Sketchy Subway Artist

Excerpt from “An iPhone Artist Haunts the Subways,” by Emily B. Hager, New York Times, October 22, 2010:

R train. 10/21/10 (Eric Molinsky) Click here to watch video. Eric Molinsky does not like to get caught. One recent afternoon on a Manhattan-bound R train, Mr. Molinsky, a freelance radio producer and inveterate people-watcher, slid into position. He scanned the not-yet-packed car. At one end, two aging New York dames laughed. Mr. Molinsky, 39, set his sights on the blonde.

He is not a stalker. He is an artist who secretly draws fellow subway riders on his iPhone, and has collected scores of New York characters on his blog. “Usually if my cover is blown,” Mr. Molinsky explained, “it’s kind of a slippery slope to the drawing just not really happening in the end.” Using his index finger and the application Sketchbook, he quickly drew a crude black-and-white outline of the woman’s face and then began to add layers of color. A base of skin tone, yellow for her dyed hair, green spectacles.

The woman looked up. “It doesn’t really affect my drawing if they know I’m drawing them,” Mr. Molinsky said. “But it does make me a little bit more self-conscious about it and makes me wonder if they’re going to come over and take a look and maybe say, ‘Hey I don’t look anything like that.’ ”

Read the entire City Room post…

See also: The Subway Issue, “the first-ever themed issue of The Times’s Sunday Metropolitan section.”

All Ground is Holy

Frederick Franck "These Ten Commandments on seeing/drawing were revealed to me on a mountain, but also in a meadow, on a beach and even in the subway. For their revelation did not come all at once, but in installments, as it were, over the years, and always while I was busy drawing, and invariably on holy ground. But that may be because, while drawing, all ground is holy: unseparated from the Whole."

~ Frederick Franck, from The Awakened Eye

  1. You shall draw everything and every day

  2. You shall not wait for inspiration, for it comes not while you wait but while you work

  3. You shall forget all you think you know and, even more,
    all you have been taught

  4. You shall not adore your good drawings and promptly forget your bad ones

  5. You shall not draw with exhibitions in mind, nor to please any critic but yourself

  6. You shall trust none but your own eye, and make your hand follow it

  7. You shall consider the mouse you draw as more important than the contents of all the museums in the world, for

  8. You shall love the ten thousand things with all your heart and a blade of grass as yourself

  9. Let each drawing be your first: a celebration of the eye awakened

  10. You shall not worry about "being of your time", for you are your time, and it is brief