Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 41

“One never finishes learning about art.

There are always new things to discover.

Great works of art seem to look different

every time one stands before them.

They seem to be as inexhaustible

and unpredictable as real human beings.”

E. H. Gombrich 1909 – 2001

The Story of Art

STUDY - NB Light - 1a - 2013
STUDY – NB Light – 1A – 2013


I sometimes wonder if I have ever had any value –  if, I have ever done anything to be remembered for.

We all have those boo-hoo kind of days once in a while.  And then, out of the blue, something happens when you least expect it.

Untitled Drawing - Kobi Owen Pickup - 2012
Untitled Drawing – Kobi Owen Pickup – 2012

It seems that our grandson took an interest in my work, at the tender age of seven, without me knowing about it.

When he showed me his drawing rendered in ballpoint pen on green bond copy paper he was both embarrassed and excited.  So was I.

I had misinterpreted his excitement and expected him to blurt out something like, “look I did a drawing just like yours!”

Instead, I had two surprises.  The first was when he showed me his drawing and blurted out, “I had so much fun doing this.  I understand why you do it!”  The second surprise was his signature.  I had, up to that point, wondered how to change or create a new way of signing or authenticating my work.

Artist's Chop with title, date and initials
Chop with title, date and initials

I was aware of how, traditionally, in China, it was the owner of the art that “signed” the work using a chop and was jolted by my grandson’s “chop” on the bottom right of his piece.  A chop is a signature, a stamp or seal.  What amazed me was how his chop was integral to his composition.  When I asked him why he put it there, he said it just needed to be there but he didn’t know why.

Now, I’m not saying he’s a prodigy.  But I do feel he has an innate or intuitive sense of composition that sometimes can’t be taught.  So, with all this in mind, not only did I feel a lot better, I also was inspired to create my own chop.

Oh, his paper is wrinkled because he had this precious thing folded and jammed into his pocket so he wouldn’t forget to show it to me.  And another thing.  He was stunned when I framed his drawing and displayed with my other favorite things.  Art is as inexhaustible and unpredictable as real human beings.


Posted on: 25/01/2013, by :
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