Sunday, September 06, 2015

DRAWING: Lesson One

I retired from teaching 20 years ago to raise a family and paint. When I thought about going back to teaching now that my children are grown and off to college, these were my first thoughts:

Paul Klee

It starts with a blank sheet of paper. A beautiful blank sheet of paper. Not all drawing is done on paper, and the surface is not always blank, but you get the idea. That blank sheet of paper is perfect. Pure. Whatever happens there has a long way to go to improve on that. Especially over time. Over time we tire of so much. A blank sheet of paper on the other hand is always welcome.

So what can we bring to that space that we draw on? Our imagination? Our perception? Our talent? Our will? Our industry? Our inspiration? Our feelings? All or none of that. What else?

Van Gogh

Our visions? Our joys? Our values? Our beliefs? Our fears?

Cy Twombly

Drawing has the power to convey all that, for each of us and all of us.

Drawing can be a record, a document, a memory, a brainstorm, an experiment, a doodle, an homage, an inquiry, a fantasy, a dream, a dare!

Gerhard Richter

We can approach the drawing in terms of line, or space, literally, or suggestively. We can be faithful, or we can be fickle. We can draw what we feel like, or we can draw what needs to be drawn. We can discover the drawing through the act of doing, or map our way. We can dive in, or ease our way slowly.

Claude Monet

Light may very well be our guide, sifting through a thousand shades of gray. Gesture may suit us better, allowing suggestion to unleash with imagination and mystery what plodding and scheming never dreamed of. We can mine the unconscious. We can speak in code, shrouding our depths in abstraction, inviting pure form to utter what we have no words for. Or we can rely on our craft and skill to dutifully deliver an honest and earnest labor of love.

Piet Mondrian

Drawing can do all this and more. It can be visual thinking. It can celebrate the world around us. It can comment on social justice. It can poke fun when things get too serious. It can arouse our passions. It can overwhelm us with beauty. It can surprise us with perspectives we never dreamed of and worlds we never thought possible. It can move us to action, or emotion. It can inspire us to aspire, or even to change. It can light our fire, or light our way. It can show us absolutely anything.

So let's get started!

Addison Parks, 2007

Addison Parks
Spring Hill

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