On & Beyond the Chair Class

Proceed and Draw

The On & Beyond the Chair 2020 class concluded the semester last week with a “Rodeo Review:” a three hour celebration of the “Let’s take a line for a walk” project that took place during the challenging time of Covid 19. The assignment asked the students to understand the drawings as a tool for wonder, to enjoy them as a daily ritual, and to allow the process to be more important than the result.

Our special reviewers included: Bill Dooley from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Frank Harmon from North Carolina, and Giacomo Pirazzoli from Rio de Janeiro. Their poetic and provocative critiques are still resounding in our minds….

The magic happen when you stop thinking.” – Bill Dooley

In thanking Frank, Bill, Giacomo, and the students for the great work, I am delighted to share the following quotes and images as witness to a deep passion for hand drawing as a tool to explore the world.

This sequence of drawings acts like a ‘squeezed lemon,’ where the skin and bones of the ‘non authorial’ chair are progressively discovered in their essence.” – Giacomo Pirazzoli

Your drawings are a stream of consciousness.” – Bill Dooley

……like discoveries. They never get distracted in recording the depth. They are like reliefs.” – Frank Harmon

Chairs remind us of people we love.” – Bill Dooley

The chair went for a walk.” – Frank Harmon

The best chair is the one where the least time was spent.” – Frank Harmon

These drawings are a journey and the chair is the portal to the explorations. That is where the art sits: to draw a chair and go for a journey.” – Bill Dooley

As if it was a story board of a rebellious environment.” – Giacomo Pirazzoli

There is a second subject in these drawings: the cloth. Both in the chair’s fabric and on the wall marks that remind me of hanging tapestries.” – Frank Harmon

Chairs are inseparable from the rooms: they give scale to our spaces.” – Bill Dooley

These drawings are both interiors and landscapes.” – Frank Harmon

Here is the wire, that like a rope, takes a walk in the room. From the floor to the top of the window. And the hand never left the page.” – Giacomo Pizazzoli

The negative space is as important as the drawing itself.” – Bill Dooley

This obsessive way to repeat the same drawing reminds me of the ‘Empire’ movie by Andy Warhol , from 1964.” – Giacomo Pirazzoli

More similarities can be discovered in this interview with the Empire film maker, Jonas Mekas.


There is a great humor in these drawings. The every day, cheap chair, has been elevated on the pedestal, as if it was displayed in the Lorenzo Il Magnifico studio. At the end it disappears from the scene, returning to be the place to seat and draw.” – Giacomo Pirazzoli

To draw under special conditions plays with the artist’s perception.” – Bill Dooley

The best way to express something is to express what is around it.” – Frank Harmon

The beauty of ‘rendering by taking away’ is the great conclusion of these explorations.” – Frank Harmon

Rietveld’s plane chair took a walk here, becoming the wall! or maybe it is the other way around…” – Frank Harmon

These panoramas remind me of the ‘Jerry Diving’ polaroid, by David Hockney.” – Giacomo Pirazzoli

The immersion in the porch atmosphere is extraordinary. I wish I did these drawings.” – Frank Harmon

Drawing allows us to understand what we are looking at and what we are designing. Drawing allows us to remember. If you draw something you will remember it, much longer than with a photograph.” – Frank Harmon

If you see something you have to draw it, by hand.” – Frank Harmon

Let’s take a line for a walk

It’s the last week of On & Beyond the Chair class and work continues with students at home drawing by hand and sharing their explorations through this blog. Every day for 10 minutes students have been “taking a line for a walk” around their living rooms. A few of today’s collection of drawings include a “jungle bedroom” and a southern back porch: the most magical of all the social spaces!

Let’s take a line for a walk

On & Beyond the Chair class continues with students at home drawing by hand, while sharing their individual explorations through this blog. Every day, for 10 minutes, students have been “taking a line for a walk” around their chairs.

Students finished their first week of work building a collection of 8″ x 11″ drawings with a great sense of discovery.

Let’s take a line for a walk

On & Beyond the Chair class continues with students at home drawing by hand, while sharing their individual explorations through this blog. Learning from each other has been a significant part of students’ experience inside Chantilly House, our beautiful studio space located in the heart of Newbern.

In the last few days students have been working on a collection of 8″ x 11″ drawings: a fun and relaxing ten-minute long, daily exercise “taking a line for a walk around their chair.” 

Students have been asked to quickly look, draw, look, draw, look, draw. The assignment encourages them to make quick decisions while continuously drawing a line. They must keep as small an interval as possible between drawing and looking at the chair. 

When the time spent by the hand wondering is longer than the time spent by the eye looking, the drawing become more abstract than descriptive.