October 31, 1952
Halloween, by Gad!
Bright, cheery greeting, hm? Odd, because I have again today banged myself silly on drawing. About sixty finished sketches. Not a record, but what might be loosely termed a full day’s work. I guess I’ll run the fearful risk of becoming repetitious and express again the wonderful feeling it is to have the drawings come out so smooth and easily, so that as they form under my pencil there is an almost sensual pleasure. For me, who spent so many, many driving painful years in trial and error (empirical) methods, it is like being released from prison. Mainly through Don Graham, I have a way of assaying a drawing, my own or somebody else’s, and deciding whether it will work or not. Just as one proves an algebraic or geometric problem. I do not mean that a drawing can be made that way, but it can be proved that way and here is where the joy comes in, for if I can become a decent judge of a drawing, I am released from so much worry in terms of uncertainty and doubt. Some times, of course, my drawing hand won’t respond, but I know that, too, and the best thing to do at such times is to stop drawing, back away and do something else, but don’t beat my brains out in fruitlessly bashing away at a thankless and baffling job. But when it is flowing, ride it, ride it! Those golden moments when it flows smoothly and sweetly must be utilized when they are blooming and that’s what I’ve been doing these last few days. Driving myself like a miner following the mother lode, eager to trail the glittering vein till it gives out.
Boy, how rich and beautiful can prose become? I not only sound happy, I sound sent.
You may have heard this one, but it bears reminding. A man was in a picture house watching a film when he became aware that next to him was not a person, but a large Newfoundland dog apparently getting a tremendous kick out of the feature. He was so impressed by this animal that he could hardly keep his eyes off of him. But the dog continued quite absorbed until the end. As they walked out the man caught with the dog’s master. “I’m really amazed,” he said. “Your dog seemed to enjoy every minute of the picture.” “I’m amazed, too,” the man replied. “He didn’t care for the book.”
How goes it with the history…(and the Latin)? Or have you already answered? I was about to say that I knew you could do it…which is ridiculous. People are always knowing their children can do things, things that well may be impossible, for all the parents know. How can you know somebody can do something when you don’t even know what that implies?
I know I love you.