Yesterday I was inspired by blog posts on www.artofschmidt.com to think about why I draw. I’m not intending this post to be an artist’s statement, but simply a general reflection and self-exploration.
Why I Draw
For me, there is pleasure in looking at something and being able to recreate it on the page. Drawing is one of the only things that I can do for hours and feel like only minutes have passed. I have always tended toward realism, or capturing a scene the way it would appear in a photograph. But lately I am learning that even if a work doesn’t turn out exactly the way it “should have,” that is ultimately the distinct mark of the particular artist, based on what she saw, how she wanted (or was able) to put it down on paper, and the subject, shadow, texture, and color choices she made.
Why I Draw With What I Draw With
If I’m being perfectly honest, I draw with pencil and charcoal because it is erasable. I have come to deeply enjoy not just working on a drawing, but reworking it, sometimes over and over again. But one of the big elements that factors into the equation is fear. Fear of making a mistake, of not being able to erase it. Fear of imperfection. But lately I have been determined to face these fears (in art and in life). That is one reason that I ventured into using colored pencils. I waited so long because I thought I didn’t know how to use and mix colors, and wouldn’t be able to create realistic art. But so far I’m happy with what I’ve been able to do using color. I didn’t know it at first, but colored pencil takes a very long time and therefore requires a lot of patience. My first reaction when I realized that was frustration. But then I thought, “This is good for me. I could use some patience.” I plan to try other materials as well that I think I don’t like or am afraid of, such as ink and paint.
Why I Draw What I Draw
This is the area that requires the most thought for me. I suppose it is valid to say that I choose subjects based on interesting shapes and shadows, things I began to look for in everything when I was taking art classes, and that I can envision on the page even before I begin. But beyond that, there has been a shallowness to what I draw in the sense that I draw things that look nice or interesting, but have no real significance to me. I sometimes draw from personal photographs, and that does add a layer of meaning. But as far as artistic vision goes, I don’t really have one yet. I am starting to believe that most of what I have been drawing has been practice (hopefully) for something bigger to come…
I need to think about why someone would connect with my drawings, besides them being “good” or pretty or realistic. I want my art to convey feeling and energy. I want to draw for a reason.
I will continue to reflect on this topic and I hope that what I learn will begin to be visible in my work.
Wedding Hand, charcoal on mixed media paper, 2017 (11×14)