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On Drawing

Date: 1986

On Drawing

Start by drawing.

Drawing is line.

There are lines to be made with the arm, there are lines to be made with the fingers, there are lines to be made without breathing.

Dürer did not breathe much when he drew, and Matisse only breathed.

Don't say but, say and.

Drawing is different from painting. Paint does more than make a line.

Pollock did not need to draw.

To a painter, a painting is more of an investment than a drawing. How many drawings have been thrown away? How many paintings are thrown away?

Why give drawings away? Sell them, keep them, or destroy them.

Graffiti is thrown away. Graffiti is not drawing. Graffiti is singing in the shower.

Ancient graffiti is art history.

Graffiti is after Duchamp.

Mail art is after you. A form of drawing.

Chicago has more sky than one thinks. Although there are unidentified spaces, they are tidy. A ruling hand. Chicago Avenue at Wabash, my first chain letter. Birds know when it is Sunday. If I were a leaf, I would hope that I would be seen by something. I was nearly in a maiden's prayer.

      Dear Momma,
I just got home from work and found your letter. I also received a letter from Harold in which he writes he doesn't     and won't know until the last minute whether he'll be having a furlough.
I was quite surprised to hear that the Schaeffers are going to Philadelphia this week end. I received a letter from Mr. Schaeffer yesterday and he didn't say anything about it. However, I'm definitely going this week end since it's entirely too lonely being here alone. Anyway I haven't had a chance to go swimming yet this year and maybe I'll be able to go Sunday with Orville and his friends. 
I'll drop a line to Julia sometime at the beginning of next week because it will take some time not having written her in such a long time. I have about a hundred unanswered letters from friends to send off tonight and tomorrow.
Let me know how you enjoyed "Life with Father" and when Ruthie and Aunt Sarah are leaving.
Give my regards to everyone.
Love, Estelle

To start drawing is easy; what's difficult is to stop.

(Published in somewhat different form in WhiteWalls: A Magazine of Writings by Artists # 13, Spring 1986. Special Issue: Drawing in the '80s).