David Sapp

David Sapp, is a visual artist and writer living in Berlin Heights, Ohio along the north coast of Lake Erie. As a Professor of Art, he teaches studio art and art history and is director of the Little Gallery at Firelands College, Bowling Green State University. His graphite drawings and mixed media works have been exhibit- ed widely in many solo, group and juried exhibitions across the nation. His drawings were exhibited in an exchange between the Toledo Museum of Art and the Toyohashi City Museum, Toyohashi, Japan. Recently his drawings illustrated a book of poetry entitled Ultrasound by Elizabeth Percer. As a writer, David has published articles on creative behavior, a novel, Flying Over Erie, and poetry in many presses nationally and internationally. He attended the Cleveland Institute of Art, received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in art and psychology, and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Bowling Green State University in drawing.

Artist’s Statement

In committing to the creative act, my primary endeavor is to actualize a work of art that embodies natural, immediate, and responsive expression through the act of mark-making. My aim is not to produce the sensational or the intellectually novel, but to validate the complexity of the human presence, to find a truth in my human condition as I might interpret it at a particular moment.

A drawing is initiated at a point of encounter and is often a tenuous fragment or impression. This begin- ning is often a highly chaotic and kinesthetic activity in the accumulation of line. I acknowledge a kind of readiness for drawing more so than the existence of a muse or the notion of inspiration. This readiness requires listening intently to my surroundings; a humility of purpose and acceptance; and a quiet, though often exasperating, patience. I do not seek a drawing out but rather encourage the image to arrive at my threshold. I allow the lines to form organically, in a place somewhere between a vibrant reality and the recesses of my unconscious. I relish the elusive aspect of this emergence and honor this transient begin- ning as a place of discovery.

Each drawing evolves in its own unique manner. There is no delineated, predictable order or destination; there are few preconceptions. The initial inception is expanded, combined with newly discovered associa- tions, and gradually finds a voice of intent. Even though I encourage states of intuition, ambiguity, and randomness, I must acknowledge that defining formal or aesthetic decision-making occurs; my creative process is not purely automatic. Formal devices are used to clarify and strengthen that emotion which first compelled me to draw. However, any analytic construction is subordinate to the original gestural respon- siveness.

In the final image, when the drawing is delivered to the viewer, it appears transformed into a new, autono- mous existence. However, at its best, the drawing retains the freshness and spontaneity of the original vision.