Julia Fish

Garden Drawings

To draw. To garden.

These endeavors have become as tangled as vines, in-grown like the stubborn roots beneath the
surface of the rectangular plots in the small garden that surrounds my walk from house to studio.

February — an early thaw, last year’s foliage dried and brittle, sagging.
Clumps of dry, peculiar snow amongst the ivy.

July — evening, the Cicadas, what a hypnotic motif they sing;
how their song opens onto other sounds and motions of summer:
the screen door, the hose spray, the oscillating fan.

Late August — Cosmos finally blooming, responding to the last days’ heat.
A confusion of tall green.

October — of course leaves turning brilliant, yet seen against the light,
betray translucence, color draining, the veins showing.

After holding two full years of seasons in my mind’s eye, the first Garden Drawings spilled out
as notations, translations in a sense, similar to those excerpted above, from the studio journal.

Begun in 1993, the images have clustered, memorable each year in newly seen form; many of
the first recalled those only glimpsed, obliquely, in distracted thought. Soon after, the drawings,
like the garden, required that I be more attentive.

Now I realize that these Garden Drawings record a particular kind of cultivation which continues still –
that of the brush describing and forming, pulling ink and water across and then against light,
grid-covered sheets – staining the page, marking the garden.

December 1996

Published on the occasion of the 1997 exhibition, Zeichnungen [4]
Galerie Klaus Fischer, Berlin