So this morning I sat in the garden in my reclining chair and looked through a new book all about the travel sketches of Le Corbusier. I also flicked through a book on loan of his Italian sketches and a very special book on the same subject that I bought in 2005 (The Creative Search by Geoffery H. Baker). Le Corb is my original sketching architecture inspiration.
Hmm, might be time for that quote again…
When one travels and works with visual things – architecture, painting or sculpture – one uses one’s eyes and draws, so as to fix deep down in one’s experience what is seen. Once the impression has been recorded by the pencil, it stays for good, entered, registered, inscribed.
The camera is a tool for idlers*, who use a machine to do their seeing for them. To draw oneself, to trace the lines, handle the volumes, organise the surface… all this means first to look, and then to observe and finally perhaps to discover… and it is then that inspiration may come.
– Le Corbursier
Sorry for missing a few posts this week – it was a huge deal for me to decide not to stick to my schedule.
I’m happy that I have been able to maintain my usual pace of 5 articles a week over the last two months, but the last two weeks have been really tough. Back to normal next week.
*Disclaimer: Le Corbusier was a very prominent architect of the 20th century and made very many provocative statements. I don’t exactly know what he meant by the phase about using a camera, but I am certainly not using this quote to make any general comparison between sketching and photography.I have an enormous respect for photographers and think that in many ways it is harder to take a good photo than it is to do a good sketch.
The main context for this quote is recording scenes to help with the design process. When you sketch and record them in a tactile way, you understand their 3-D form in a special way. Taking a ‘quick photo for future reference’ will not be encoded in the brain the same way as tracing the volumes with a pen will be. This ‘quick snap’ is the type of photography I believe Le Corb is referring to.