Episode VIII: Markers
"Don't cross the line": with the tone of a sweet warning, Miss Victoria told me that, and I, a timid oyster-boy, believed that she was challenging me. But no. The meaning of her words was literal: that I did not cross the line, she told me, when I painted the drawings barely sketched in black lines on white paper. Be careful. Do not invade with a blue the area of a yellow because then a green would appear. At that time I was quite proficient with drawing and, as always, a small virtue can open a great opportunity: I was the one chosen to paint the posters of school events, which except me for one hour (or two!) the third grade class. In my hands, the sideburns of San Martin were of a saturated black and the peeling of Sarmiento, of a pale pink. When two dear friends gave me a huge box of markers for my last birthday, my memory brought the pleasure of drawing from those days. I recently read an interview with a very good illustrator and to the journalist's question ("when did you start drawing?") she gave a brilliant answer: "I never stopped". We all draw and paint as kids but some juvenile transit rite pushes us to leave the markers when we start to get interested in other things: girls, boys, music, parties. My new box of one hundred markers is as suggestive as a blank canvas: there are twenty possibilities of blues, four versions of yellows, six shades of gray and a few reds. And they have a double point, thin and brush, to draw the contours and paint inside them. In search of lost time, I start drawing again: not for therapeutic purposes, as adult coloring books are presented nowadays, but to return to a pleasure that I should not have abandoned. More impressed by Basquiat than by Hopper, I cross the line: in that patch of colors without order I express the bewilderment of adulthood and I mix blue and yellow hoping for the green to appear.