Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Remember Why We Draw

The last few months have been busy. Busy is a good thing. It means that people like what we do and want to buy it, but sometimes we need to take a little time to remember why we do what we do. I have stolen a few moments the last few weeks to simply draw. No project, no purpose, no client, I drew just to draw. Drawing is the fundamental building block of every true artist, but sometimes we forget to draw. Life is busy and even in the midst of an art career, we sometimes stop drawing if it's not part of the current project When we forget to draw just for fun, we lose sight of WHY we draw and sometimes even feel like we have forgotten HOW to draw.

I fall into this trap all too often. Deadlines feel too tight to take a moment of frivolous drawing. It seems selfish to indulge in drawing for drawing's sake when the paying projects are nagging at you, but this is just what I did on a few recent outings. I don't regret the choice. The experience of drawing from nature with no intentions other than to capture what was in front of you and make it a permanent expression of your perceptions on paper is a powerful experience. I had forgotten how therapeutic it can be to simply draw for no other reason than to draw. I found myself immersed for a few moments in the shapes and textures of my subject. I found myself really seeing the things I was drawing and solving problems as I worked to get them down in my sketchbook. I was totally invested in the effort and for a moment there was nothing between me and the trees but a thin column of carbon. I became one with my drawing. This is why I draw.

I have learned that what I have not drawn, I have never really seen.
-Frederick Franck

In spite of everything, I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great disagreement, and I will go on with my drawing.
-Vincent Van Gogh

There will always be reasons why not to draw. but don't let the ups and downs, the pressures of life and deadlines derail you from your drawing. Draw on!


Brad Teare said...

Great post! I find that if I don't do a sketch before painting I haven't spent enough time looking a the scene. Sketching proves you've done your homework (and it's fun but I usually want to dive right into painting!)

Greg Newbold said...

Brad, I relate with the wanting to dive into the painting part. I am the same way. that's why it's nice sometimes to just plain draw without the pressure of color and brushstroke.