Simplicity, Restraint

8 February, 2019.

I love words.

I love how combinations of words we select enrich our use of language. The choice of one word of similar meaning over another can dramatically alter our communication and our choices may color the perception of one’s audience.

I think of sketches as a sort of parallel to language. One’s choice of color or mark are like words: yellow is yellow, right? Yes, except when it’s not. A cool yellow trends toward green and is reminiscent of spring and all the things that season implies, whereas the orange tones of a warm yellow creates a marked contrast against dark, cool shadows of winter. And like the difference between one word and another, the resulting messages are often different.

My sketches are intended to be a sharing of story… short stories actually, rather than a novel. These stories are slices of time, fleeting glimpses, slices of time. Encounters. The narrative of each sketch is intended to be easy to understand. They are most successful when I don’t succumb to busying detail.

I’m not especially fond of poetry, but I appreciate the brevity of haiku and the restraint of a well turned phrase. Elegance and simplicity evoke a banquet of emotions or ideas.

Sketches, like dialogue, shouldn’t be a compilation of flowery language, flash, dazzle, spectacle. Get to the core of the idea instead, and let’s all enjoy the conversation.

This small painting was in my head. It’s not any actual location, but it is a place I’ve walked through a thousand times in my imagination: A snow crusted hill, woods above and barren fields below, stiff and frozen mud – my breath a cloud. Time to go for a walk.

Watercolor and pencil on 300# Arches cold press, 7 x 7 inches.


  1. Michael Scandling · February 8, 2019

    Beautiful. And of course, the last two sentences are a poem.

  2. areilly88 · February 8, 2019

    This really resonates for me! Thank you for putting it into words better than I might.

  3. lepastelbleu · February 8, 2019

    since you love the word, I tell you in my language: Bello, davvero bello, leggero e frusciante come il vento tra alberi e pensieri. Una traccia luminosa che fa sentire il profumo dell’inverno

    • azorch · February 8, 2019

      Le tue parole sono così poetiche!

  4. lepastelbleu · February 9, 2019

    Hi! many thanks, good Italian! BRAVO

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