Monday, August 05, 2013

Drawing inspiration

I've spent so much time teaching myself how to draw. I've written quite a bit about it. I've got files and folders full of exercises and studies I've done.

And you know what?

I still can't draw.

I can't draw people; I can't draw animals; I can't even draw buildings. I can draw grass but I guess anyone could do that.

And I absolutely cannot draw from memory or imagination. I really can't.

I'm sure I used to be able to draw better than I can now.

What wrong with me?

I think the problem is this.

I don't care.

I don't care about drawing people, animals or buildings. The idea of being able to depict accurately something I can see in front of me strikes me as being clever but a bit pointless. I've got a camera for that sort of thing.

For me, the pleasure of drawing is in the expression. It's the joy of the gesture, the scribble, the mark.

Last week I went to the coast and I drew rocks. I did a number of detailed studies as I'd learned to do. They weren't very good. And they weren't at all inspiring. I fact, the more I drew the more depressed I got. Then I turned to a clean page and just started to draw - like I do.

The starting point was a big rock but soon incorporated bits of other rocks as they caught my eye. I worked quickly and vigourously. I drew, smudged, erased, drew some more. It was fun and at the end I was more satisfied than I'd been with any of the other sketches. It didn't look anything like a rock and it's of no value or interest to anyone but me. But I look at it now and I think,
"Yes, that's what I want to do. That's how I want to draw."

You know what else? My grass drawings are pretty damn good.

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