Notes: Site exploration and thoughts

During my studies and site walking I felt more and more moved towards exploration of my site sensations in drawing. For that I am taken some notes of the site I am visiting and some further thoughts for my assignment drawings.

Stefan513593 - part 5 - site exploration

Aare River:

The Aare river in Switzerland is a very old river dating back to ancient times Millions of years back when the Alps started to be formed. Over time, the Danube river and the Rhone river were created by the origin of the Aare. It is fascinating for me to be on a site that would not have been looked much differently long time ago.


  1. Pebbles at the Aare river are tangible objects of time passing in geological terms. Time has left its markings in the stones. It is knowledge inside. Especially certain pebbles have white calcite traces inside and along the surface. This happend at the time of the Alps formation when under high pressure stone were cracked and with calcite water inclusions new stones were formed.
  2. Pebbles are created under high pressure. -> what if we release pressure?
  3. Water is flowing, movement, visualizing the passing of time. One cannot grasp the moment while looking at it (only a camera takes a snapshot, with a delay from time of observation). At times water carries away the pebbles from one space to another.
  4. Reflection: One can reflect on things and on the past. Water is a reflective surface (metaphor).
  5. Drawing material: calcite markings in pebbles -> chalk markings on support
  6. Drawing tactile sensations: Density (pressure) and texture (markings of time)
  7. Juxtaposition: time moment and passing, embodiment and nature
  8. Spaces: Concealed? Layering?
  9. Surfaces: of pebble, of water, of skin

I did a quick screening of ‘pebbles in art’ at Bridgeman Education site (, found out that pebbles are mostly drawn, painted either as a visible object by observation. Others were drawing onto them. One image attracted me more:

Alfred Reth (1884 – 1966) ‘Untitled’, 1952 => abstract depiction of pebbles, textures, in the context of cubism. For me this one supported my previous studies and my intention of drawing re-called site sensations.

Ambiguity:  of areas, markings, systems
  • Pebbles – water – human embodiment – bodily awareness
  • Sensational experience – reflection  –  layer of experiences
Exploration of space and atmosphere
  • Markings: Are sensational experiences abstract?
  • Movement: Walking on site, over pebbles, over sand
  • Volatility: Time, water, dust, powder
  • Physical approach: Walking on site -> drawing
  • Bodily awareness: Site sensations, emotional response -> drawing
  • Visual awareness: Site sensations, seeing, observing -> drawing
Drawing process:
  • interpretation (selective, simplicity)
  • Sensing (moment of mark making)
  • Visualization
Visual reflection:

an iterative process (from sensual experience, during drawing)

What is more important?
  1. bodily sensation of the moment?
  2. concept of time passing and reflection?

= stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to involuntary experience in another sensory or cognitive pathway

=> phenomenological approach and combined visualization (layers, translucent)?
a) natural geological phenomena (see pebbles) with
b) human figure (face?)

Question: Is this an interpretation? Will it become anamorphic? Metamorphosis?

Drawing ideas:

1. Draw the sensations -> overlay with shape of human figure (see Nigel Henderson ‘head of a man’, 1956)
2. Draw the sensations -> overlay with drawing of blurred human figure (ghost?)
3. Draw human figure -> a) overlay with markings of sensations,  b) overlay with images of site (see Juul Kraijer ‘untitled’, 1999)
4. Draw empty spaces -> a) like 1. in a ‘cut-out’ shape
5. Draw effect of presence of the human? -> effects as pebble building, …
6. Draw effect of time (geological) -> markings of calcite patterns, …



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