Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Thoughts on Drawing

If there is one thing I have learned this semester it is that drawing not only takes time, but it deserves time. My biggest overall regret from this entire semester is that I was not able to dedicate enough time to my drawing. I love to draw. I had forgotten how much I loved to draw until I took a drawing class abroad in Rome. Spending an entire semester drawing Rome allowed me to see it in a way I never could have seen it otherwise.

That's another thing I realized about drawing: it is only partially about drawing. It is also really about seeing. The number of people who look but do not truly see is astounding, and I believe it is one of the biggest hindrances in learning to draw. I thank drawing for truly opening my eyes to the world.

My third realization about drawing this semester was that the best drawings depend on the subject. My favorite drawings I have done this semester are subjects I am passionate about. My still lifes were decent but they lack passion and it shows. My best large drawing this semester was my final narrative drawing of an archway on West Campus through which I walk every day. I love Duke and I love this campus; that archway is familiar and as the end of the semester (and thus my tenure as a West Campus resident) looms, I realize more and more how much I'll miss it once I live off campus and don't walk through those arches every day (most of my classes will be in Sanford or Smith Warehouse).
Final narrative drawing

My other favorite drawing is a charcoal drawing in my sketchbook of my dog, Allie, whom I love dearly. It's just a sketchbook drawing but the passion shows in that drawing as well because it is sincere.
Allie (charcoal in sketchbook)

 Finally, I realized that drawing should be fun (one of the reasons I regret not spending enough time drawing; when drawings are forced and not leisurely at the last minute, they are far less enjoyable). After completing the drawing of my dog I sent it to my sister, a high school senior who also loves art. Her response was "Okay Picasso." I responded by drawing a quick sketch on my phone, a cubist interpretation of the original drawing. She challenged me again with Dali, and I did a Dali-like surrealist sketch with a melting clock. She then responded with a Munch "Scream" interpretation and I in turn with a pointillist Seurat approach. Since then this has become a game between us, sending drawings back and forth and reinterpreting. They are trivial iPhone drawings; sometimes it's van Gogh strokes, sometimes Mondrian geometry, but always it is fun, and that is why we do it: for the love of drawing.