online: 12 february 2004

12 february 2004 serenity

10:07 Slept late this morning as I continue to detach from social reality while recovering from an invasive medical test 3 days ago. All's well within but I needed time to recover from a slight wound and some bodily shock. I felt as if penetrated by a slow and inquiring bullet.

And now, feeling rested and well, I begin today with this.

Yesterday, while resting, I began again* to follow William Ruskin's very detailed instructions in his Elements of Drawing- and as I did so I re-experienced that perception of immediate reality as sensations, not meanings, which is I think the basis of art (and of right living).

What I mean (!) by this is the joy of finding ( as one's perceptions change from interpreting to seeing) that visual reality is composed only of patches of colour and that each patch is not the shape one thinks it is (according to its significance, or human purpose) but is of an unexpected shape that is more difficult to perceive... And as soon as I begin to see and to draw this actual shape I feel immediate release from meaning, stress, worry, or any kind of anxiety or hope. All is serene. No imposed narrowness.

*I remember attempting this several decades ago but yesterday I found myself more able to draw as Ruskin prescribes.

In the interval I've re-learnt drawing from another book Drawing on the right side of the brain by Betty Edwards (ISBN: 0874774241) - to the extent of being able to make the drawings that appear in the internet and everyone. That too provoked this release of experience - from the narrowing effect of supposed meanings to the unboundedness of uninterpreted (or pure) sensations!

Is this modest unmystical change the basis of my belief that both art and life can be 'sublime' (as well as 'demonic)? I think yes. I don't believe that social conditioning is the source, measure or total of everything.

what's new


digital diary archive

© 2002, 2003 john chris jones

You may transmit this text to anyone for any non-commercial purpose if you include the copyright line and this notice and if you respect the copyright of quotations.

If you wish to reproduce any of this text commercially please send a copyright permission request to jcj at