Monday, January 18, 2010

Why Do I Love Drawing?

Last week I told you that I was being featured on a new friend's blog. I am posting that feature here this week after it was posted on Karin Taylor's interesting blog:
1. Why do you love drawing?
I love drawing for a number of reasons- for the challenge, for the joy of expression, for the feeling of pride in work I've done, for the sense of creation that is mine, for the excitement I feel when I get obsessed with a drawing- these are a few of the reasons that come to mind. Many of my favorite drawing have come from finding a image that I want to make my own. This may take the form of an image I've come across that I love or a photo I've taken. Earlier in my career, I was quite fixated on being able to reproduce such things with absolute fidelity. This meant recreating photographic work to the point that people who mistake my drawings for photos at first glance. A few times, I felt that I was able to push the drawing beyond being a mere reproduction to having something that the reference itself did not have. After awhile, I got tired of this approach and looked to tie a more expressive approach to my penchant for realism. In these ways, I gave myself challenges to push myself and my work. I love drawing for the endless challenge it represents. I imagine that I will always feel a sense of restlessness, wanting more of drawing that I currently see in them. One of my current obsessions is learning to draw the figure from my imagination. I have found a great teacher for this and quite pleased with my progress so far. When I reach this goal, I will add it to my personal list of art accomplishments as I seek to continually renew my art.
Aside from the reasons I love drawing from the standpoint of my own work and the experience of drawing, I love drawing as an art form in its own right. Looking at the drawing of other artists is one of my favorite experiences. When I look at a drawing that really grabs me, I feel an engagement with that drawing down to my toes. I feel a sense of wanting to enter that drawing, like someone who loves to swim feels toward a body of water. I really tingle all over in the presence of the right drawing. I think that drawing opens me to the wonder and magic of life. As I have developed my eyes to see for the purposes of drawing, when I look through them, I see beauty everywhere.
2. Has drawing helped to relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress or illness?
Most certainly, drawing helps me when I get the blues. In diffferent times in my life when I wasn't doing much creatively, the introduction or reintroduction of drawing made a huge difference in my life. I think that doing anything you love makes you feel better. In the last year or so, I have started putting a lot more energy into drawing, making it a daily habit rather than one that I got around to every now and then. This decision came in the context of dissatisfaction in some other areas of my life. In the course of sticking to my decisions around drawing every day, the dissatisfaction I felt in other areas of my has shifted and I think that drawing has played a big part in this in some sort of alchemical way. I think it can be said that whatever underlies the experiences of anxiety, depression, stress or illness can become fuel which can stoke your art and creativity. While the tortured artist is not an archetype I resonate with particularly, I think its existence in our consciousness does point to the way that the painful elements of our lives can be turned into gold through the transformative power of art. I call such times and experiences "filling the well". This well becomes one of the sources of inspiration for my work. I think that this has been part of the purpose of art throughout time and across cultures, to help us integrate and grow from such darkness, to bring it into light.
3. Where is your favourite drawing place?
These days, I am enjoying working at home. I have many favorites though. I particularly enjoy life drawing with a model in a studio surrounded by other artists.
I want to bring your attention to a few new elements of the blog. You mave have noticed a share widget on the right side. You can use that to share this blog with others on facebook and twitter, I welcome new readers if you feel so moved. Also, at the very bottom, I have added an email sign in box. Just enter your email and you will get notices on your email automatically. This will help me keep track of my readers.
I also posted one of my latest drawings, Mustafa and Sinan, a drawing of my father-in-law and my son. I would love to hear from you about why you love drawing, as I am assuming you do. Have a good week.

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