DON'T GET EXCITED, THIS IS NOT BY ME

levine.jpg

It's a watercolor from the brilliant caricaturist David Levine, and it's from a book entitled "Drawing The Line", which features art and interviews by Levine, Jules Feiffer, Edward Sorel, and Ralph Steadman, all heroes of mine. It was a gift from the estimable Cindy Woods...or is it the inestimable Cindy Woods? From the estimable and inestimable Cindy Woods. And it's just an amazing book. And I was happy to learn, from this book and also from "The Art of William Steig", also a gift, from the equally estimable or in-, Dr. Research, that both Feiffer and Steig disliked preliminary under-drawing and composition, valuing the immediacy and spontaneity of the directly-applied line, mistakes and all. When assignments forced them to do "roughs" and "pencils", they found their work to be dull and uninspired. They were fortunate and talented enough to be able to craft careers for themselves that allowed them to work the way they wanted. So I was glad to hear that maybe my similar predilection didn't derive from sheer laziness. Being neither as gifted or ambitious as them, I've been lucky to find the perfect vehicle in the sketch blog, where the immediacy of the medium, as well as the lack of an editor or client, allows me to post what are essentially "first impressions", and has enabled me to find a small but wise and discriminating (and beautiful and talented and sassy and verbose but occasionally taciturn) audience. Now, look at that: a whole blog entry without a single descent into minor-league adolescent sarcasm. My mom would be proud. That's amphetamines for you.