the line

I find it fascinating that there really is no such thing as a perfect line in nature. If you look at a thing, you’ll notice that a line is created by contrasting light and that there is a gradient where the changing light meets. But there’s really no line there. It’s good to think this way when you’re learning to draw or paint. But all that said, I love the line. I like making them, I like following them, and I like finding them. Finding them? Yes. Literally.

When I lived in Tampa, I used to park in a dirt lot a couple of blocks from my office downtown. And I would often come across the most magnificent lines right there in the dirt. They were really coat hangers that had probably been used by people who locked their keys in their car or by petty thieves. I’m sure they were twisted up in order to slide up, around and down the window into the sweet spot on the lock. I can almost see their tongues at work as the wiggle these locksmith’s tools into place. I’m also certain that once the lock had been opened, these coat hangers became useless and were tossed to the ground. Here’s where they grew into interesting lines. Over the years, cars crumbled, twisted, flipped and broke these pieces of metal into some natural-looking lines. And the weather gave them a nice patina of grime and rust. I find them fascinating. So I picked them up, shoved them into my backpack and brought them home with me. And though I’ve never used them in any of my art, I do find plenty of inspiration in them. Despite having moved to the west coast, gone through a divorce where I lost everything except my guitars, laptop, and the fold-top desk my Grandmother Dee Dee gave me, and then moved back east to Atlanta, I still have my lines.


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