The Zen of Seeing

Posted: June 19, 2014 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time
Tags: , ,

Just finished reading “The Zen of Seeing” by Frederick Franck, a book that has inspired and humbled the way I see & draw since 1973, in particular this line from page 6 –
“I have learned that what I have not drawn I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle: the branching of a tree, the structure of a dandelion puff.”
grevillea intricata by Mo 2014“Grevillea intricata” by Mo 2014
Grevillea-intricataGrevillea intricata in a bottle on top of the fridge  (Ariel likes to chew on those exquisitely pointed modified leaves)
and a scan below
Grevillea-intricata-scan-Mo-2014here’s a photo of some of last year’s aborted attempts at drawing Grevilleas

  1. A beautiful drawing Mo, you have such skill.

    • Mo Crow says:

      thanks for the good words Debbie, I tried to draw this plant last year to no avail, becoming more stilted and confused with every drawing ’til I gave up after two frustrating weeks but all those attempts informed this one and it came out fine & free, Phew!

  2. fiberels says:

    What a very special plant Mo !!!! (is it native down there ?)

    • Mo Crow says:

      It’s a grafted variety of a Western Australian species, there are 100’s of Grevilleas here in Australia ranging from small low growing shrubs to towering trees.

  3. jstockler says:

    As the image started to appear, I thought I was watching a dancer. You have this incredible talent for capturing movement in a flat image. And out of curiosity, what made it work this time vs the earlier attempts you describe to debbie?

    • Mo Crow says:

      last year I was trying too hard, Grevilleas are very lively and need to be drawn quickly to capture that, I was studying the geometry of the florets so closely and precisely that I lost the sense of the plant as a whole, tried a bigger grevillea which got even further away from reality & took a photo, will put it up now.

  4. Carol says:

    Beautiful, Mo! The delicacy and strength both come through. Lovely!

  5. Dana says:

    I love the quote and your drawing proves that you have indeed seen this plant.

  6. deemallon says:

    I love the precision of your line. It is precise without being stiff or formal. And the quote is wonderful. It has been a real theme of late. How much the seeing and appreciating of a thing are related.

  7. ruthkeys says:

    Thank you for sharing this post with us. Nature is truly amazing and you have good eye in seeing it.

  8. julie banks says:

    What an aptly named plant! You have truly captured the essence of this beautiful Grevillea in your amazing drawing!

    • Mo Crow says:

      Thanks Julie, it’s growing beautifully on a sandstone wall in full sun in one of our gardens in Randwick, a grafted variety from Ausplants in Gymea Bay, must get down there and have a look at what else he has!

  9. i have and love this book too mo. you have inspired me to go look at it again . oh and also. i love this drawing.

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