White Noise
"The Mystery of Fire" w.n.# 7/30/78

White Noise is the name of a drawing process, a meditation that I began in 1969.   At the time, I was unable to draw spontaneously.   I was unable to love the marks and images that sprang from my hand unless I planned them, manipulated them, or, worst of all, contrived them to be clever and slick.
 
    So I created a process to teach myself how to draw directly and honestly.    It was also a meditation on being in the moment, not worrying about results, just delighting in the present.

 
    The term white noise usually refers to a kind of undifferentiated sound like the sound "shhhh."  For me it also refers to the sound of a blank surface before I make marks on it.

 
 

Here is how it worked:

I got a ream of white typing paper.
I had a pencil or felt marker.
I had a wastebasket.

I would practice the "draw-so-fast-you-can't-think" method.
When I stopped drawing, I would look at the drawing then toss it in the waste basket.
I went through many of reams of paper. I did this off and on for several years.

Then on November 18, 1972, I decided to begin using better quality paper and to henceforth keep every drawing.
I numbered and logged each drawing. I did this for about 7 years.
There are now more than 500 W.N. Folios in various media ranging in size from 7 " x 10 " to 11 " x 14 " ( and many more on disk done with graphics tablet and stylus).


 

The White Noise Gallery

The White Noise Gallery features selected examples from the collection of White Noise Folios.