Thursday, October 09, 2008

Big Draw Day 9

I bought this book awhile ago. Chewy had mentioned it and Kim too I think. I had read about 10 pages and put it back on the shelf. But since doing the Big Draw, I took it down and began reading again. The subtitle is "A sensory meditation guide to creative expression." The idea, if I understand it, is to feel your way into a drawing through your senses, smell, sound, touch.

Charcoal and sepia conte crayon. This I drew with my eyes closed and with my non-dominant hand (the right hand). I opened my eyes and added the sepia conte crayon segments. The idea is not to draw in a representational way but to allow abstract sensations to emerge from within.


Charcoal. This one I did completely with my eyes closed and with right hand. It is interesting that the drawing feels so much more complex as I draw with eyes closed. But then I open them and see just a few lines.

In The Spirit of Drawing, CS Siegel says, "...the drawing processes invite you to sink below the conscious mind and give yourself to the simple activity of being present in the moment: to experience your breathing, your sense of touch, and the other sensations inherent in everyday life. By allowing these sensations to directly influence the process of drawing and choosing color, you will discover a natural language of lines, shapes and colors that can express your state of being with the same immediacy as a cry, a yawn or a sigh." Pg 10

Have any of you out there used this book? What has your experience been? Are you drawn to abstractions? Do you see/feel the abstract shapes and forms underlying representational work? How does your awareness of abstraction inform your art?

31 comments:

Cestandrea said...

Suki, this is soooooo interesting. I just love the way you put the colour in here and love the spontaneous lines in both sketches. Sounds like a book one MUSt have! And en experience not to miss! thanks for sharing it
love
Andrea

BelleEnchanted said...

This one is definitely going on my to-buy list. I wish I'd seen your post yesterday - I just put in an order at Chapters! But I'm adding this one to my wish list right now so I won't forget it. It's very interesting how your drawings turned out. They feel like the start of some wonderfully abstract pieces to me.

differenceayearmakes said...

I'll have to add this book to my wish list. (I've bought far too many books lately)

I love abstract - I find it fascinating.

Kim said...

Suki, I love this post a lot. I have made notes of your questions, but first want to speak about your drawings. I LOVE THEM! I think you have something going here with a couple of ideas emerging in these sketches...do you see those? Did you listen to any music or sounds...or were you aware of them...while you did these?

I do own this book and like it very much. For me, it confirms from time to time I am not crazy, because I often do things like close my eyes when I am working on some things and the "feeling" part of my work is very important. I often feel as though I become a part of my paintings while I am painting - as opposed to being outside of them. As you know I do not often do representational works. Sometimes I see shapes emerge once I have drawn or painted them, but I do not plan something recognizable. I am not sure why that is for me, but when I give representation a go, I close down and that stops me. So this brings me to your last question of how abstraction informs my art...do you think I have answered it?

I love posts like this and hope some fun conversations gets going here. I will be watching to see if that happens.

Today I am off to loosen up MY left hand (non-dominant).

Thanks Suki!

sukipoet said...

Hi Andrea. I plan to continue doing some of these experiments.

Belle, So many books one would like to have. Never heard of Chapters. Will check it out. I tend to not do abstract work so this is a letting go of control for me.

difference--it is easy to buy too many books isnt it. I myself like to have a stack of waiting to read books . It is some security.

Oh Kim, thanks for your interesting answer. My memory was correct, you had mentioned this bk too. well what you say sounds so much like what the author says, as i slowly read along. The drawing or painting comes from the inside, from feelings and sensations rather than exterior "demands." You have answered beautifully. I will read it again and find a quote to quote w/permission. I was not listening to music and in my eagerness I didnt pause enough, perhaps, before plunging in with my charcoal. I will continue with these experiments. In other aspects of my life, I have spent a lot of time, journal entries and therapies to live life in general from my inner self as opposed to outer expectations. So, it seems exciting to explore this in a concrete way with my art and seeing what evolves.

sukipoet said...

Kim here is a quote from you I'd like to post on my sidebar "I often feel as though.....as opposed to being outside of them." The whole sentence of course. May I?

I am not sure if I note any ideas emerging from my drawings but I will look at them again. Theone with Suki 63 was a response to my b-day

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

hmm interesting book. Interesting concept. fun drawings.No I have never seen this book. But will check it out. You always get us thinking new things.

Kim said...

Of course, Suki, you can use the quote...what an honor!

You know, I think you have to be eager when you first begin a process...okay, I have to be eager at first. But I think when something feels right in that eagerness, then you want to explore it more and more in different ways and try to understand yourself through that process. At least that is the way it kind of works for me.

And you are right, you explore so much with your words and have given so many beautiful examples of that for us all to enjoy. And sometimes, things just come along when the time is right for you to delve into other areas, too. You mention you hold on to control of your visual art, but maybe your hurt finger was a way to encourage you to let go of that (at least for a time) to see what might come out. If you want to be able to put words to what comes out visually there are some good books to help you with that, also. One I found interesting was called something like, "How is a Painting Like a Pizza"

63! Who would have thought that? You are a young woman, no doubt about it. I think the creativity has kept you very young!

This is all very exciting, Suki!

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Hmmmm . . . drawing with eyes closed . . . Funny, I write with my eyes closed many times. I close my eyes and let the thoughts swirl into words which link to form sentences and before I know it I have composed the entire piece without stiking a key or stroking a pen. My daughter in college recently shared how she writes few rough drafts because she composes in her head. (Heredity or environment, I wonder?)

Today I shall encourage Rachel to draw with her eyes closed and see what she "finds." She draws EVERYDAY with passion and insight and such depth. Currently she is crafting stories in her journal, producing sculpy Noah's Ark and Nativity sets, filling her sketch book with Autumn, and studying single-celled organisms under microscope -- and that's all AFTER she completes schoolwork. She's so alive!

Your special artist nook delights me as I breathe in the creative calm. I dream of days spent writing, creating, leisurely floating in my own creative cloud -- that's a fantasy I cannot make reality around here any time soon, but oh how I love to come here and spend a few moments with you doing just that. : )

Teri C said...

Very interesting sounding book. I need to get one also. You make it sound so wonderful and inviting.

Annie said...

I love the abstract in everything, art, writing and thought. Love that you are doing this and the book sounds very intersting. Drawing for me is very much a relaxing in the moment thing. I must
make some time to draw soon :-).

Lynn said...

I did a drawing last night with eyes on the object, not on the paper, and that is interesting too. I shall try this method as well. Thanks for sharing.

Kai said...

Aloha suki, isn't it funny how allowing the hand to draw what it wants without the distraction of sight produces such an interesting flow on the page..well done.
peace, Kai

soulbrush said...

don't know the book, but must try this non-dominant hand thing, with eyes closed and chatcoal...soon, as i do so love abstract, the more vibrant the better.

Wurzerl said...

Hi Suki!
What a great job! Every day in October we can see a new drawing of you and every day it is looking complete different as your ideas are every day as other ideas. It' s very interesting to follow you every new day.
Have a great time Wurzerl

sukipoet said...

Hi Cris. Thanks for stopping by. After my initial typing frenzy this am I became exhausted from taking Mom to Doctors (why is that so tiring?) and also hand was hurting so didnt get back here till this evening. the book is a very different kind of "instruction" book and the ideas are presented in a meditative, calming manner.

sukipoet said...

Kim thanks for returning and for your thoughtful comments. See above comment from me why it's taken me so long to get back here. I am sure my hurt finger on my left hand (the left side is controlled by the right side of the brain, no?) has great meaning. And....believe it or not, I got stung by a bee on my middle finger of that left hand today. the universe is telling me something....not sure what. Love the title of the book you mention and am building up an Amazon order so will check it out.

sukipoet said...

Debbie, that is so cool that you can compose writing in your head, and your daughter too. They say that Mozart also composed much in his head, that's why his scores are so clean from cross-outs, unlike Beethoven who worked things out on paper.

I'll be interested to see what the talented and multi-dextrous Rachel does with her eyes closed!!

Sending you prayers for peace and quiet times to explore your creative self. thank you as ever for your kind and thoughful words Blessings, suki

sukipoet said...

Teri, I find the book challenging as I tend toward the representational in my drawing. But it is good to stretch in new directions.

Annie, yes your paintings express the abstracted shapes I think this author talks about. Also, that idea of being present and in tune with the inner self. For me, as said above to Teri, it is quite a challenge but my poor left hand, which got bee stung today in addition to achey from too much typing, is telling me to let go and stop being so tight I think.

sukipoet said...

Lynn, that's a great idea too. Drawing without looking at the paper, just at the object. Next thing to try.

Kai, thank you. I will keep trying this as it brings me to a vulnerability that i like to avoid (being messy).
No messy is not quite it, I dont mind being messy but something.....

sukipoet said...

Hi Soulbrush, can't wait to see what you come up with. You are ever inventive and creative.

Wurzerl welcome.... Thanks for your kind words. I am jumping about from thing to thing. Just all experiments! Thanks for your good wishes.

Kim said...

Suki, NO! Not a bee sting! That is awful. I am not sure what it means...you should keep drawing with your right hand? :) Or at least take a break.

I can imagine it is really difficult and exhausting to take your mother to the doctor. My mother is just 69, but when I have had to go with her to the doctor it exhausts me!

So you just go and do what it takes to relax...maybe read!

Thanks so much for your wonderful post. I am sorry if I get carried away with with some of this stuff...

Ben said...

great post. i will definitely try my hands on the book now.
there are times when i believe that abstract ramblings (be it through words or painting) are a more realistic expression of self.

Cindy said...

sukipoet -- love this work, and the conversation that it provoked. I'll have to check out this book on Amazon. Maybe if I get brave, I'll try some of this non-dominant drawing myself. Drawing is very scary for me (for reasons unknown), but maybe this will loosen me up a bit. Thanks for the suggestion -- and the great art work!

sukipoet said...

Kim thanks for your empathy re: bee sting, course after a bit the sting went away but just seemed odd that it was my left hand again.

And re; taking mom to Dr. Is part of it, re: mom, that she walks soooooo slowly and I am impatient and also worried she may topple. I find it interesting that it is so tiring to care for her. Esp as she does a lot of her self care for herself.

sukipoet said...

Welcome Ben. I think you are right that the abstract can express perhaps more of our feelings and insides than the representational (which maybe covers over the feelings). the abstract expressionist knew this I think. Their work so often emotion filled.

sukipoet said...

Cindy, hard to know where our fears and reluctances come from and maybe it doesnt matter in a sense. But what matters is being present in the present moment, accepting who we are at the same time as we explore new aspects of self via in this case of us creative types, via our creativity. I do something, I see what happens is my motto.

Rowena said...

What an intriguing idea.

marianne said...

Interesting Suki!
Nice that you are left handed, left handed people are special and have a creative spirit!
I haven´t read the book.
I go crazy of all the books I want to read but can`t........

hug >M<

sukipoet said...

rowena, it is an interesting idea. Somehting to loosen up the other side of the brain.

Thanks Marianne. Special I'm not sure, but not of the majority is true.

Honour said...

happy belated birthday suki! wow, i leave for a couple of weeks and just look at how productive you are. It just shows you how each day can be full whether you are on holidays, or whether you are at home.

i am back now, yes - and I am entranced by your lovely picture now heading your blog. Beautiful. As were your pictures of the hydrangeas ... p.s. I love the creative work you've done here with your eyes closed. My favorite drawings so far!