“Presence is diluted and permeated by absence. Since things no longer attract attention, no longer even stand forth, the painter paints the world emerging—submerging—it is said—not quiescent. He paints it coming out of the original confusion or sinking back into it, following the great respiratory alteration, breathing in and breathing out, that brings the world into existence.” – Francois Jullien
During my residency in Yosemite last December (part 1 here) I took a stack of books with me but found myself returning to, or rather ping-ponging between, the same two texts on drawing and seeing. The first was J.D. Harding’s classic Victorian manual On Drawing Trees and Nature. The second was a philosophical text by Francois Jullien entitled The Great Image has No Form or On the Nonobject Through Painting in which he focuses on the painting and emptiness teachings of Chinese masters like Shitao. You can see a bit of both influences at work in some of the many drawings I made from downed tree branches.