The study of gesture is not simply a matter of looking at the movement that the model makes. You must also seek to understand the impulse that exists inside the model and causes the pose which you see. The drawing starts with the impulse, not the position. The thing that makes you draw is the thing that makes the model take the position.
-Kimon Nicolaides, The Natural Way to Draw (1941).
A playwright, as any other artist, should accept the bald fact that content determines form and form determines content; that form and content are interdependent. Form should not be looked at askance and held suspect—form is not something that “gets in the way of the story” but is an integral part of the story. This understanding is important to me and my writing. This is to say that as I write along the container dictates what sort of substance will fill it and, at the same time, the substance is dictating the size and shape of the container. Also, “form” is not a strictly “outside” thing while “content” stays “inside.” It’s like this: I am an African-American woman—this is the form I take, my content predicates this form, and this form is inseparable from my content. No way could I be me otherwise.
-Suzan-Lori Parks, “Elements of Style”
Selections from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjûrokkei) (1826-33):
Dawn at Isawa in Kai Province (Kôshû Isawa no akatsuki).
Seven-Mile Beach in Sagami Province (Sôshû Shichiri-ga-hama).
Enoshima in Sagami Province (Sôshû Enoshima).
Inume Pass in Kai Province (Kôshû Inume tôge).
The Cushion Pine at Aoyama (Aoyama Enza no matsu).
Kajikazawa in Kai Province (Kôshû Kajikazawa).
Hakone Lake in Sagami Province (Sôshû Hakone no kosui).
Small Nude. Oil on canvas, 25.5 x 25.5 cm. 2000.
Woman Waiting. Oil on canvas, 73 x 50 cm. 1990.
Artist Jay. Oil on canvas, 101 x 76 cm. 1994.
Cloud Break. Oil on board, 76 x 76 cm. 2001.
History’s B-roads. Oil on canvas, 152 x 168 cm. 2006.
Loss, mourning, the longing for memory, the desire to enter into the world around you and having no idea how to do it, the fear of observing too coldly or too distractedly or too raggedly, the rage of cowardice, the insight that is always arriving late, as defiant hindsight, a sense of the utter uselessness of writing anything and yet the burning desire to write something, are the stopping places along the way.
-Ruth Behar, “The Vulnerable Observer” from The Vulnerable Observer (1996)