From +dylan Tue Jan 10 18:14:00 1995
From: (Rudi Schmid)
Date: 8 Jan 1995 00:04:36 GMT
Subject: Re: _Drawn blank_ text, review (was "the Dylan book of drawings")

I posted this here about a month ago:

New York, NY 10022, USA. [131] pp., ill. (B&W), some pp. tinted, 210x258 mm format, ISBN 0-679-41788-5 (hardbound), US$30.00, Can$42.95 (phone: 1-800-733-3000).
There is no printed text in the book other than the title page, its verso, and the foreword (see below). Incidentally, this is the Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication information:

  1. Dylan, Bob - catalogs
  2. Dylan, Bob - contributions in drawing. I Title

    The pages are unnumbered and some are tinted. The dust jacket is in color, but has absolutely no commentary, only notation of the two prices above. COMPLETE TEXT IN BOOK, IN THIS FORMAT (p. [7]):

                        These drawings are sketches
                 for paintings that either never were painted,
          have yet to be painted (or more likely never will be painted).
          They are done mostly by pencil, some by charcoal and spotlight
               and a few by pen. Those familiar with the mediums
             can easily tell which is which. They were done over a
          two- or three-year period from about 1989 to about 1991 or '92
                     in various locations mainly to relax
        and refocus a restless mind. My drawing instructor in high school
      lectured and demonstrated continuously to "draw only what you can see"
       so that if you were at a loss for words, something could be explained
                 and even more importantly, not misunderstood.
      Rather than fantasize, be real and draw it only if it is in front of you
       and if it's not there, put it there and by making the lines connect,
                    we can vaguely get at something other
                          than the world we know.
                                BOB DYLAN
                             September, 1994

    This is an interesting collection of black-and-white "sketches" that are much more sophisticated than the line drawings in Dylan's two lyrics books that were published in 1973 and 1985. Subjects include portraits, nudes, scenics (mainly urban), and some stills (e.g., a bowl of fruit). The sketches are pleasant enough, but like those of most musicians who indulge in such (e.g., Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, etc.) I doubt Dylan would have achieved his fame on the basis of his artwork rather than musical artistry. Many of the subjects are routine, though some have an interesting distorted perspective, as the sketch of a staircase and its banister. The book would have been enhanced by commentary, at least for some for the sketches. For instance, who is the Spocklike man depicted on p. [75]. The pages in this slender book are not paginated; there are 131 pages total. Some pages are blank so that the overall number of sketches is somewhat over 100. Various pages are tinted to give a pleasant aspect to the book.

    --Rudi Schmid, Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley (

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