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20 August 2012


Drawing – sigh… I thought I’d have this topic in my Bulletin, because as artists darhlinks, we get this draw, record, thrust at us, and some of us, ie me, have brains that don’t work that way. But how can you make art and not draw? Well I do, so there!!!

I hate so much that if you’re like me and struggle, it’s a given you must continue to struggle, must not utter the words out loud “drawing is not for me” – Can’t you just hear the fellow artists suck in breath at the idea, and a loud tsk and tut, the artist police will come and lock you up.
Well may be that’s not true, but I’ve certainly felt at odds with everyone else and alone. That’s the reason for this Bulletin. I want to stand up for those who don’t do the beautiful sketchbooks, who don’t dash off a sketch whilst at the bus stop, who feel less worthy, less of an artist because they don’t find drawing easy, but feel forced into continuing to do it, believing otherwise you are not a proper artist. STOP when it comes to the crunch the information you need is exactly that, INFORMATION FOR YOU. It took me years and years to learn that. I may want to do the beautiful sketchbooks, but its never going to happen, wanting and being aren’t always the same thing. Importantly it took a long while to understand that it is not to my detriment, its just DIFFERENT.

During a gap between City & Guilds courses, I did a year’s art course, drawing, painting, followed on by being part of a private group having weekly lessons, I think that went on for a further couple of years. It means I’ve put in a LOT groundwork, hours, and tried lots of different media. I’ve done the still life, the people, the architecture, the 1 minute sketch the 30 minute sketch, the non dominant hand, not looking at the page, continuous line and so on, all the options tutors give. I have the knowledge of all aspects of drawing….
So I CAN draw, I think you can recognise what these are. Even so after all that input it’s just not natural or easy to me. I just don’t like it. There, said it
I actually get a raging headache, because I have to concentrate so much, think about each aspect, even after all the above, none of it comes naturally. I don’t finding it a relaxing pleasurable thing to do at all. It certainly doesn’t flow instantly from the fingertips. Who wants a nice sketch and a migraine to go with it? Why would I willingly do that to myself?
I’ve even tried the “drawing a day” – at one point it was the ‘in thing’ (may be having a resurgence at the moment) people boasting on the web of drawing every day for months even years on end. Another point of envy. I follow this blog which I enjoy immensely Missouri Bend Studio
However my foray into doing this started off with good intentions, which evaporated, the drawings turned into abstract playing, my every day, found gaps, until it withered to a complete stop.

I saw it as a complete failure. The reality is I should have paid attention to myself, to what I was doing, analyse what I had, ie colour, texture, experimentation, good things. Is this you too? Note your strengths be proud of them, go with them, and don’t get bogged down in the negative of what you think you should be doing, to the detriment of what you ARE doing, and other skills you may find along the way.
I do a lot of this kind of thing, laying one type of paint over another and see what happens, these are acrylics over watercolours.
Words flow easily for me, (likely you can tell), I also touch type, so I can record at the speed of thought. Whilst drawing is headache making, writing is very much free flowing and natural. I found absolute joy in this book….  It has a section on writing about your work… what utter bliss for someone like me. Not only does it describe ideas for what to do, but more importantly for me, this small section gave me legitimacy. It was OK to write about your art. Phew, relief, someone else has agreed with me. So if writing is a natural thing for you, then do it, you may be like me, in the written word can ‘see’ exactly what is described.

There are multiple ways to collate the information you want in order to make the art you want. So if something doesn’t work for you, try something else, don’t stick to something because you think you should, because its what ‘proper’ or ‘real’ artists do.

I have more to say on Sketchbooks themselves, that was another big art revelation for me, so that will come along another time. I also use my camera a lot, so I’ll talk about that too in another Bulletin.
Remember find the freedom in being you. Don’t close the mind to any options, but realise that to be a creative hands on artist, its OK NOT to draw!

Just looked outside, sky is still up there, we are safe for another day!!

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