Thursday, August 13, 2015

Scribbling Questions and Contemplations

Inspired by the work of Lynda Barry (who's books I've been re-reading because I am using two of them in classes this fall), I used my sketchbook scribbling to contemplate a question.  

Here are the results:

What a wonderful experience!

When I started those pages I only had the question in mind.  

Drawing both pictures and words with a brush pen (you can see I switched up a bit at the start) slowed my process way down.  More thoughts came to mind as I rendered each one, and the "next" drawing appeared just as I finished the last one.

I love the "contemplative essay" feel of this.  You start with a question that you don't know the answer to, and that maybe can't be answered at all.  What Barry calls "The Unanswerable Question."  And then you explore it, often by asking other questions.  And you just see where it leads you.  Most often it doesn't lead you to answer.  Instead, it leads you to different, sometimes more potent questions.  It is the exploration and the asking that matters, not the finding of an answer.

This is a great way to pay focused attention to something I've wondered about, to explore authentic and creative thoughts, to engage drawing and free-writing at the same time.  The combination of writing and drawing engages a lot of the brain and adds an interesting dimension to my sketchbook!

Give it a try!

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