Walking Drawings by Jason Alden

Several years ago, I began making drawings while walking with Mighty ( a beautiful animal I spent time with)  along the East Orchard Street loop in Brattleboro. It was a dirt road with few cars, easy hills and changing landscape.  What became immediately apparent was what was lost and what was gained in this activity.  Always walking forward, the landscape was constantly shifting, attention to details was not possible.  The drawing called out for summary, "What are those trees mostly?!"  Oh...they are dark, staggered verticals....What is all of that brush?    scribble, scribble, smudge...What is the dirt and gravel road?  drag, smudge, stipple, stipple  How is that light coming through the trees?  rub, rub, erase, rub..... little more erase.

Then it is done, the summary of 90 seconds of a walk.  The drawings are little, 4 x 6".  Some are incoherent beyond a generalized feeling of landscape while some are as spare and lovely as haikus.  

The practice strongly encourages you to be simple and committed to your choices.  From the welter of details you can draw forth a summarizing quality that will communicate road or cloud cover or woods.  A few of these summaries together on a page can come to a beautiful agreement about what they are all a part of. 

 east orchard street, ball point pen

east orchard street, ball point pen

 bonny vale road, carpenter's pencil

bonny vale road, carpenter's pencil

 orchard street, carpenter's pencil

orchard street, carpenter's pencil

 orchard street, carpenter's pencil

orchard street, carpenter's pencil

 orchard street, carpenter's pencil

orchard street, carpenter's pencil