Six years old and already deeply taken with drawing when I began to sketch the same vertical shape over and over again—two or three squarish forms each one slighter smaller as they rose in a stack on the sheet of paper. As I drew and colored I imagined massive ships—sometimes I added portholes with happy faces looking out or a blue line of ocean at the bottom of the page. Once, when there were no more half sheets left on the class room drawing table, I took a forbidden full sheet of manila paper and drew my stacked ship before the teacher could stop me. I was deeply satisfied with my work and and completely impervious to her scolding. 

An art critic recently posed a question on social media :  “What moment in childhood led you to become an artist?” By the end of the day there were over one thousand answers— “studying shadows”, “reversing ceiling and floor”, “the magic of painting with water”, “watching a friend or relative draw”—a seemingly  endless list of early experience and observation. Some mentioned an idea or form that became, if briefly, an icon, a refuge.                                                                                                                                       

Recently, making demos for a class, I drew, almost unconsciously, the stacked shape—a cake, a minaret, an ocean liner—or just geometries coming together—all with the same familiar resonance.

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The Stacked Shape

4/7/2022

Six years old and already deeply taken with drawing when I began to sketch the same vertical shape over and over again—two or three squarish forms each one slighter smaller as they rose in a stack on the sheet of paper. As I drew and colored I imagined massive ships—sometimes I added portholes with happy faces looking out or a blue line of ocean at the bottom of the page. Once, when there were no more half sheets left on the class room drawing table, I took a forbidden full sheet of manila paper and drew my stacked ship before the teacher could stop me. I was deeply satisfied with my work and and completely impervious to her scolding. 

An art critic recently posed a question on social media :  “What moment in childhood led you to become an artist?” By the end of the day there were over one thousand answers— “studying shadows”, “reversing ceiling and floor”, “the magic of painting with water”, “watching a friend or relative draw”—a seemingly  endless list of early experience and observation. Some mentioned an idea or form that became, if briefly, an icon, a refuge.                                                                                                                                       

Recently, making demos for a class, I drew, almost unconsciously, the stacked shape—a cake, a minaret, an ocean liner—or just geometries coming together—all with the same familiar resonance.