Gordon K. Bugbee | Artist's Statement

August 2006 Drawing is seeing. I see nothing as clearly as when I am trying to trace with a pencil, pen or brush the boundaries of light and shadow, of color and form. The techniques of art exist to help the hand inscribe what the eye sees. My first art teacher, I was about six years old, was "Captain Bob" a local artist and television storyteller. Each evening my mother would set up the tray table in front of the television and he would teach perspective, shading, composition, and other aspects drawing. After high school, art receded to the status of a hobby. Always close at hand, I painted and drew whenever I could. I incorporated drawing and design into jobs as I could. In 2003, I made the decision to get more serious about art and began taking courses at MassART and the Museum School. Nowadays I consider art my primary work. (My family moved to Dorchester in 1988.) The images that grab me come from many quarters: the urban landscape, the gratuitous adornment of old buildings (did anybody but the architect and the masons ever see the ornamental brick and stonework?); "beauty" found in unexpected places; and, people, especially in extreme situations. This last kind of art is more than mapping of terrain and objects. It is an attempt to eavesdrop on the stories, relationships, and fates of human subjects, not objects, not the subject of my art-making, actors, agents, participants, and victims. The painting I have done for the Dorchester Guide is a composite scene showing the diversity and vibrancy of Dorchester. I have collected images from many of Dorchester's neighborhoods Upham's Corner, Savin Hill, Field's Corner, and included storefronts representative of the many ethnic groups that have built a life in this largest section of Boston. The painting is done in gouache on watercolor paper and measures 8" high and 7" wide. I draw to see. I draw to celebrate and to protest. I draw to know the world and to invite the world to know me. I will have "succeeded" if you have been moved or provoked or intrigued by what you see. I would love to talk to you about it.

"A pure studio art is unfruitful and frail, for anything that does not form living roots, why should it exist at all?"
- Kathe Kollwitz, Journal, 1916 from Kathe Kollwitz: Woman and Artist Martha Kearns, 1976