In the course of teaching a drawing and art theory class this spring, I have been doing a lot of reading on drawing and philosophy of esthetic (my term) as I would describe the Wabi Sabi concept.

I have come across a very interesting book on drawing by John Ruskin, The Elements of Drawing, published in 1857. His approach to drawing is interesting in that reading it, one can imagine being instructed by a grumpy Yoda ready to smack you with a stick if you step wrong.

Wabi Sabi is another book that does not directly relate to drawing, but to a philosophy of artistic esthetic. Wabi Sabi appears to me to be an attempt to capture the esthetic of the Japanese tea ceremony and parallels ideals of “man in nature” as secondary to nature. I have been exploring the relationship of humans to the environment through my paintings related to entropy. Humans are blindly accelerating entropy by exhausting the planet’s resources based on a vision of nature as subservient and of technological progress as essential. There is no progress.

Although vastly different works, both are inspirational for me and will find a way into my art.