Saturday, October 16, 2010

Drawing Sessions in Lowell

I try to get up to Lowell Arts each Tuesday, for the drawing session that Nikki Wheeler organizes. This is a drawing from the session last week, on yellow Tagboard, which i think is what they use in elementary schools. Its 18x24, and comes in a ream, so i have lots of it. At first, i hated it. But now, i really like it. It takes loose charcoal really well, and erases OK, though not perfectly, but i sort of like the staining. It smudges nice and has a good tone in the charcoal shadows.

Sometimes it happens when i draw that i get really into it, and it feels natural, and things start happening that i like on the paper, and I think, well, this is pretty good for me, I wonder why now? Why is it so random?. It doesn't follow at all that if you really focus and concentrate and work hard that good work will follow. Not does it follow that work that seems good at the time turns out to be good on the next day. That's really rare for me. But sometimes there is a feeling like you were connected for awhile to the materials in a profound way, like an extension of yourself, and there is a thrill of some sort with each line, and what is happening on the paper is popping out in a way that resonates, and sometimes you get a decent drawing out of it, and if both happen, it is very satisfactory. It rates high on the gives-life-meaning-even-though-trivial meter.

It is disappointing to feel like you are connecting and finish and realize its all wrong and the head is too big or the whole thing just feels dead. That's low on the meter. And if it feels this way, it usually feels the same way the next day.

Why it is such a hit-or-miss activity is sort of a mystery. You'd think after practicing for years and years it would be a sure bet. You'd rarely miss. But its not that way at all. You draw like throwing a dart, and once it starts up, leaves your hand, you don't know where it will land. But it does land, somewhere, and there's a drawing, and you have to deal with it, and set it aside, and try to figure out if you think its any good.

Maybe if you're a Gage academy sort of person this doesn't really happen much, there's just too much perfection going on and you sort of follow a formula, which measures your skill and patience (it seems to me, as they all look pretty much the same). I'd have no patience for a drawings that takes 12 hours, but I'd love to be able to not miss a proportion or get a line wrong. That's where it really falls apart, and why i keep trying to make some sort of grid invention that saves time. If i feel like i get the parts in the right places, which is pretty elementary, then i figure most of the battle is won.