“Nothing exists until or unless it is observed. An artist is making something exist by observing it. And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it.”
—William S. Burroughs
Head up, looking; hand down, capturing. The rules of blind contour drawing are simple: you put pen to paper and you draw what you see without looking at the paper until you finish.
My college Drawing 101 course was full of hopeless hopefuls. There were chem students who needed an easy pass, English majors hoping to be in the same section as the dark-eyed welder who haunted the art department, conceptual kids who didn’t want to be bothered with the mechanics of actual drawing. After taking stock of the first completed assignment, the professor threw out a month of lesson plans and we invested our time instead on Kimon Nicolaïdes’ elegant exercise in connecting hand to eye.
The first thing to go was memorized symbols. How we were taught to represent a face had very little to do with the facts of a face. Very few are oval. Ears are somehow more ear-shaped, and less visible. A cupid’s bow makes a complex map of altitudes.
Next, our perception of beauty came into question. Close contemplation forced the hand to contend with eyes that lived a bit close together, a nose sitting at a slight angle, a forehead taking up more than its third of the whole. The most beautiful face was not, as we had been told, the most symmetrical.
Eventually, our brains stopped trying to capture gesture and simply gestured with. Exaggerations shifted into suggestions; eyebrows gave a subtle raise, heads tilted of their own accord.
To say nothing of our drawing skills, blind contour drawing taught us the practice of deep observation. A worthy pursuit for anyone, and essential in the pursuit of making and appreciating art. As Marcel Duchamp observed, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone. Intention on one side / attention on the other.
This is the same spirit from which the Glories emerged. When we stopped trying to right-brain it and instead let these two wines exist in the same space, as they wanted to, everything changed. We gave each bottle a blind contour drawing as a reminder to stay open to beauty, whatever shape it takes. As a body of work, they serve as a paean to meeting things in their form.
We hope you will give these wines your attention, and let them sing.