I begin with intimations. A corner, a cornice. A curve, perhaps witnessed in the form of a leaf or the nape of a neck. A line that expresses the color that is the sound of the car horn or the trumpet we just heard. We find a shadow. A glint of light. A background. A nearest and a farthest away.
Just a pen, meandering over the page - echoes of me: the way I comport myself in the world and the identity created, the current thrust of that being - his fears and hopes, his calm spaces and anxieties. Most of all, tho, his hopes. That's what I focus on the most.
As an artist it is inexplicable. You will see things that no one else sees. One day it may be your mind returning to the burning hue of a particular shade of orange against a soft robin egg blue. Another day you may be struck by the echoes of the curve of an oak tree, the way the sun glinted off an art deco inspired cornice of an office building built 100 years ago, or the patterns of the trash ground into the city street.
You may be a windswept plain. A bewildered forest. A breath of a dream at night.
I think of the artist as a kind of magician. I don't mean the 'here's a holy relic that will heal you' or turning you into a newt sort of magician with magical powers. Rather, an artist is like the sleight-of-hand magician who says 'First it is an apple' and then - POOF! - 'Now I hold a bouquet of flowers!' Done well, there is no doubt that the apple has been replaced instantaneously by the bouquet of flowers that has appeared in their hand.
And you think 'surely, there's a trick to it.' There's a string or a bit of fancy hand play that you didn't notice.