There is something so inherently interesting about lines. Outlines. Lines of color. Lines leading into the distance. Lines of a car. Lines of a leaf. Ink lines. Paint lines. The swoop of telephone lines alongside the road.

A brush can express a line, which in turn, expresses something else. A line can be straight. A line can curve. A line can undulate. A line can be created without a change of pressure on the brush, or changing the angle of the brush. Or, it can be created with movement and pressure.

Lines can be used to enhance the sense of something, such as the veins in a leaf. Or give a subtle – and not so subtle – sense of a shape, by outlining it.

Coloring books have lines, too, and good kids stay inside the lines, and are tidy.

Lines can say many things. Yet, a part of me rebels against lines. “The shortest distance between two points is a line.” Is it?

Lines can contain. Lines delineate. Lines define.

Lines express. Lines move beyond the seen, on into infinity, leading the imagination to the unknown, leaving the mind to fill in what is expressed – the experience becomes unique to the person, the imagined is more real than that which is seen.

Lines can be broken. Lines can be solid. Lines can be heavy or light or medium in density, or gradated by the addition of color or more ink.

Any brush stroke, long or short, is a line. What is on that brush becomes an experience on paper, the process of loading ink or paint, choosing the angle of the brush, the tip, the pressure. Paper determines if the paint or ink runs and bleeds, or sits on the surface to be slowly absorbed by the fibers. Is the paper sized? Unsized? Has it been moistened or not?

A line.  Not so simple.

Bamboo 1b


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