Camille Feinberg

STRAIGHT OUT OF PARADISE

THE GRAND CANYON IS A 9 HR. DRIVE FROM LOS ANGELES. I BROUGHT MY SKETCHBOOKS AND BLACK INK PEN ALONG AND SKETCHED ON THE SECOND DAY LIVING IN THE CANYON VILLAGE, AS IT’S CALLED WHEN YOU LIVE INSIDE THE SOUTH RIM. BACK HOME REFLECTING ON THE GRAND CANYON, I THOUGHT I’D NEVER SEEN A “DRAWING” OF THE CANYON. I BEGAN TO THINK ABOUT MAKING A LARGE DRAWING. I SETTLED ON 3 X 4 FT. CANVAS WITH 4 LAYERS OF GESSO GROUND TO TAKE THE INK EASILY. I LIKE THE CHALKY COLOR OF WHITE GESSO. I ALWAYS SKETCH WITH IMPORTED JAPANESE BLACK INK PENS THAT HAVE A RESERVOIR OF INK, AND A SMALL BOTTLE OF HIGGINS PERMANENT INDIA INK. I WANTED AN OVERALL FORMALITY OF VERY LITTLE SKYLINE AND JUST BLACK AND WHITE. I LOOKED AT MY CELL PHONE PHOTOS AND CHOSE ONE TO USE. I VERY LOOSELY BLOCKED IN THE PHOTO ON A GRID. IT LOOKED LIKE A TWOMBLY AT THIS POINT. I BEGAN MAKING LINES. AFTER SEVERAL HOURS OF LINE MAKING I WAS IN A KIND OF TRANCE LINE MAKING EXPERIENCE. I FELT CARRIED ALONG (NOT LOOKING AT THE PHOTO MUCH NOW). THOUGHTS OF WORDS AND ASSOCIATIONS, QUOTES, EVEN POETRY BEGAN FLOWING THROUGH ME. A PERSISTENT, FAVORITE PIECE OF DIALOGUE CAME BACK TO ME – “ONLY BY BEING A TOURIST CAN YOU EXPERIENCE A PLACE”. * I CAME ACROSS A GEORGE BRECHT QUOTE; “SO LITTLE TO DO AND SO MUCH TIME TO DO IT IN.” IT SEEMED MEANINGFUL. NOT, OF COURSE, ABOUT THE TOURISM INDUSTRY. I FELT I WAS EXPERIENCING A MENTAL LANDSCAPE OF PHRASES, QUOTES, AND BITS OF OVERHEARD DIALOGUE, POETRY, AND OTHER WORDS EVOKING SOUNDS OF TIME. I ADDED CARTOON-SKETCH BITS FOR MY OWN AMUSEMENT. I WANTED TO PROCESS THE MY ORIGINAL THRUST TOWARD TRANSLATING THESE IMAGES INTO DRAWINGS. I THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT GEOLOGIC TIME, THE SHIVA ROCK (A MILE BELOW THE SURFACE, AND THE EXPANSE OF 4.5 MILLION YEARS TIME, AND I BEING BUT A HUMAN SPECK IN TIME RELATING TO ALL THAT. LOOKING I REMEMBERED OF SOME OF MY YOUTHFUL ROAD TRIPS WITH FRIENDS ACROSS THE US, INTO CANADA. ON A WHIM WE PICKED DESTINATIONS AND THEN JUST TOOK OFF, LIVING IN THE CAR AND WORKING ALONG THE WAY TO OUR DESTINATION.

Camille Feinberg, May 2012