Looking and Drawing

Extract from Peter Cook’s essay ‘Looking and Drawing’.
see  ‘Drawing Architecture’, AD no.225, pp 80-87, edited by Neil Spiller, Wiley, (2013) for the full essay:

“How can people draw in the abstract? Even plotting a line on a scrap bit of paper
– ‘here’s the nearest place to buy potatoes’ – followed by a scribbled arrow,
a wobbly line to the supermarket door, is the product of memory and episode.
In the invention business, this involves a considerable scrambling of all sorts of memories and episodes allied to many, many, wish-dreams.
I knew how to keep going: attacking the awkward parts of a drawing in the morning and coasting along with the easy, repetitive parts in the evening.
Yes, the business of drawing became not only a case of interpreting one’s dreams, but of assembling the likely episodes in some king of predicable echelon. For me, the best drawings have always been those in which more than 60 per cent was, on the outset, merely a ‘sniff’ of what was to come. To have the whole thing plotted out beforehand and entirely predictable and therefore just a graphic exercise – this is infinitely boring. A drawing should be an investigative device, a voyage of discovery, a series of glances into the future. ‘Oh my God, was that what it was about?’ seems to be a reasonable conclusion.”


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