Thursday, February 4, 2016

Meaning and Ritual, Drawing Every Day

I have begun a wonderful intensive course called "Drawing Practice:  Drawing Live Subjects in Public" with Roz Stendahl.

As Roz says, "In this class I will introduce you to drawing exercises and approaches that develop the skills necessary to work quickly and accurately while sketching live subjects in public."

We have daily homework.  Weekly sketchouts.  Special supplies.

I first "met" Roz and her terrific approach to drawing, learning, teaching and life through the "Beginnings" course on Sketchbook Skool, which you can still take if you're interested.  I recommend it!

I have spent many hours reading her amazing blog Roz Wound Up.  I am grateful for her knowledge on everything from chickens to toy dinosaurs to staying safe out in public to the difference in Pentel brush pens... and on... and on...

Anyhow, I look forward to sharing the work of this class here.  I will do it on a bit of a delay, so I can think about things before I share them.

 I already know that it will be so much more than "just" drawing.  Before the course even started Roz asked to think about goals and the blocks to our goals, especially the sneaky stealth Ninja moves our our internal critics.

What does it mean to want to see more clearly, and create art that captures what you see and shares it with others?  

What does it mean to be "good" at doing that?

Does it matter if you aren't good at the sharing with others part?  Why?  So what?

These are the questions I had begun thinking seriously about before the class even started on February 1.  Interesting questions which I deal with all the time as a creative writer and teacher of creative writing.  But I've never really thought of it much in terms of my drawing practice before.  What's the shift--in drawing--between wanting to capture things for myself and wanting to create an experience for my "readers"?  

Lots to think about there...

Anyhow, to get myself rolling before the class started, I headed to the local Barnes and Nbole Starbucks and drew some folks.   Fountain pen on tomoe river paper, color added with Koi watercolor pens.

Each of these took less than five minutes apiece.  My goal was to try to capture a bit about the personality of each person, how they interacted with the reading material they had in front of them as well as with the persons accompanying them.

How do I respond to competing input?  It sure happens a lot:  someone is talking to me, a phone is ringing, a text is beeping, the TV is blaring, a cat is knocking something off a shelf...  

When and how can I capture moments without so much input?  Do I spend those moments alone or with someone?

How you spend your moments is how you spend your life, right?  I read something like that recently.  Bumper sticker wisdom, in a way, but it does make some sense.

Well, for the next month, I'll be spending a lot of moments intensely engaged in and reflecting on my own drawing practice.  I look forward to sharing what I learn.

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