I now began to see the white surface of the paper, on which I was going to draw, in a different way. From being a clean flat page it became an empty space. Its whiteness became an area of limitless opaque light, possible to move through but not to see through. I knew that when I drew a line on it—or through it—I should have to control the line, not like the driver of a car, in one plane: but like a pilot in the air, movement in all three dimensions being possible.

Yet, when I made a mark, somewhere beneath the near ribs, the nature of the page changed again. The area of opaque light suddenly ceased to be limitless. The whole page was changed by what I had drawn just as the water in a glass tank is changed immediately you put fish in it. It is the only the fish that you look at. The water becomes merely the condition of its life and the area in which it can swim.

John Berger, “Life-Drawing”, in Berger on Drawing