mercredi 15 mai 2013

Drawing thinking not necessarily seeing.

drawing and thinking in progress.

Drawings we make of things we see are not just what we perceive with our senses, but something more and also something less. They are conceptions of what we perceive, not the perceptions themselves. When we draw, we extract from our perceptions what we think are the important parts. We may, for example, ignore the foreground and draw only the tree, or leave out the background and draw only the figure. We might ignore a data point on a graph so the line through all the other points is smoother, or draw repeating sequences to imply motion.
The choices we make in creating such drawings, both of what we see and what we imagine, are a record of visual thinking using line, shape, and degrees of light and dark. The drawings represent both inner and outer parts of our world. The choices we make in the drawing process are important parts of a conversation we have with ourselves, as hand and mind unite in cognition and creation. As we draw, what appears on the paper or screen is a critical part of the conversation, an external representation of what was, in the moments before its creation, in our minds. Once an image gains a life of its own, we can look at it, think about it, and revise it. The revised drawing is an expression of new thought.
Without drawing or visualizing an idea, problem-solving and other creative tasks can be difficult. We often need to make a sketch or diagram to see clearly what we are working on. It is in this process of drawing and redrawing where revision inspires continuing and creative change as we “talk” to ourselves in order discover what we know.

I came across this, by Michael Strauss, and am indebted to the artist Sharon Knettell for pointing me to Cultural Weekly in which the full piece can be found.

I would like to add that the drawing conversation can define what we think we know, what we think we see. Where does this line go and what does it describe and are we drawing what we know to be there rather than the way it appears, haptically,  tactualy or otherwise. I am reminded of the confusion that arises when someone becomes able to see, or of times when the brain takes a while to register ocular information - what is that we ask ourselves?

The way in which the drawing material is used, the variation in pressure of the mark, the deliberate feathering or impressing of a line, the erasures marks left, lines redrawn and showing reappraisal:this continuous working of the dialogue between hand brain and  material to further an end. Drawing engages us as practitioners, as observers. It is a conduit for feeling.

1 commentaire:

  1. Drawing is essential and I am grateful that I have slowed down later in life to really try to do it well.

    It is the framework and roadmap of painting- Sometimes when I get lost it the slippery seduction of paint, I have my drawing to refer to.

    I love the struggle of drawing- its basic honesty, like your portrait above.

    It is hard to do.