It took me years to understand the magic of drawing. For years, I tried to make things look how they are – instead of being what they are. Drawing is an alchemic language. Some of my favourite drawings I have done with my eyes closed – or so drunk I do not remember making them.
Life drawing is fascinating. I know I keep saying this but I just love it. You can put a group of artists around the same figure and there will be that moment at the end where everyone turns their easel around (unless it was just us that did that!?!) and you are looking at totally different paintings.. how can we all see everything so differently??
It used be my favourite part of the class seeing all the different approaches. Seeing how one person kept it precise and detailed and the person beside them splattered paint everywhere..
It doesn’t have to even be a different artist, I could be drawing the same pose and have time to do two images and they can look totally poles apart. Or it could be the same day and each piece can have a different vibe.
You can change-up a simple charcoal by adding some splashes of colour, letting them drip or smudge! All fun 🙂 You can see I was in a dripping and smudge mood 🙂
What happens if I turn my charcoal on its side, if add some water, if I close eyes… All adds to the adventure. In these kind of things I tell myself it’s not about the perfect representation, it’s about just enjoying and exploring. Sometimes I wish I could live my life in the same manner. How freeing that would be!
I read the below passage and think Brenda Ueland explains what I mean perfectly about how people see art (and the world) in different ways…nothing is right or wrong.. it just is 🙂
When Van Gogh was a young man in his early twenties, he was in London studying to be a clergyman. He had no thought of being an artist at all. he sat in his cheap little room writing a letter to his younger brother in Holland, whom he loved very much. He looked out his window at a watery twilight, a thin lamppost, a star, and he said in his letter something like this: “it is so beautiful I must show you how it looks.” And then on his cheap ruled note paper, he made the most beautiful, tender, little drawing of it.
When I read this letter of Van Gogh’s it comforted me very much and seemed to throw a clear light on the whole road of Art. Before, I thought that to produce a work of painting or literature, you scowled and thought long and ponderously and weighed everything solemnly and learned everything that all artists had ever done aforetime, and what their influences and schools were, and you were extremely careful about *design* and *balance* and getting *interesting planes* into your painting, and avoided, with the most astringent severity, showing the faintest *acedemical* tendency, and were strictly modern. And so on and so on.
But the moment I read Van Gogh’s letter I knew what art was, and the creative impulse. It is a feeling of love and enthusiasm for something, and in a direct, simple, passionate and true way, you try to show this beauty in things to others, by drawing it.
And Van Gogh’s little drawing on the cheap note paper was a work of art because he loved the sky and the frail lamppost against it so seriously that he made the drawing with the most exquisite conscientiousness and care.
I can be quite literal in my drawings so I like anything that shakes that impulse off me and encourages that freedom to break through is welcome to me.
I try to do these things much as possible. Maybe that’s a bit of a forced way to stay creative but it works for me 🙂