Saturday, January 8, 2011
Can You Draw Me?
Why would you want to? You've got your own inner child to draw. Mine did these waiting for the soup to defrost in the microwave. I love doing free association drawings-- some really weird images show up. Like the old car my dad owned as a youngster,(upper left corner), and the three heads with a connect the dot game and coffee cup. I did a few in a very short time. That's the idea--draw fast without thinking to loosen up and unclutter your mind. There have been occasions when I've gotten mesmerized by the images that emerged from the scribbles. Those were the best. What are they all about? Doesn't matter. They're about drawing.
What I always loved about drawing is the activity didn't call for much in the way of equipment--a piece of paper, a pen and your wits. With just those, you could draw master pieces. An electrical outage wasn't a catastrophe. Now we are so hung up on our machines, if the lights go out, we go berserk. We're bored. We're stressed. There's nothing to do--even though there's a pad of paper in the kitchen with a pen next to it. Take the candle from the cupboard you've been saving for such an opportunity and doodle away the dark hours.
The last two days. I've been side-tracked. Between the new Blackberry and my computer, I got little done where I want it done the most: in the studio. No canvases were worked on. No quick sketches were made. I woke up this morning thinking: Shame on you. --And for some odd reason: CAN YOU DRAW ME?
There was a popular ad in ladies magazines years ago that had that header. There was a profile of a girl in black and white and a form to fill out. The company wanted you to draw the profile and mail it in with the form. The company was selling art lessons. That picture was the first picture I ever copied. That picture taught me that I could draw and I didn't need any lessons. All I needed to do was take a good look at the life around me and record it as I see it.
Sometimes nothing grabs my interest. Like today, my mind was distracted--a sick friend, a complex phone, leaving in a couple of days, laundry piled high, prescriptions, a belt. So I drew off the top of my head. These are the results. Good or bad art, they got me unhooked from my machines and back to life in a simple place I completely comprehend.
Have any of you used free association to set your creative self free--to break a block--to wile away time? Or do you think the exercise is childish? Picasso was always reaching for his inner child. Why not us?