Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Drawing in My Life

My best friend loves negative space. She likes to look not at what is there, but instead what is not there. She looks for possibility and ways to create substance out of what is missing. She is uniquely attuned to those that are the most invisible in society, and can find ways to transfer this into her art, by giving voice to the marginalized and forming beauty around the blank spaces.

I had always admired her devotion to negative space, the often ignored parts of any visual image. But, other than her preferred form of silhouettes, I could never figure out how to integrate this into my life. This semester, I was looking for ways to fill the blank spaces in my life; I asked myself: What have you always wanted to learn but never made time for? 

As a visual learner, I have always been drawn to images. I can remember emotions by how things looked in a room at the time, and study for tests using diagrams with different colors. Drawing has taught me the power in simple black and white tones to evoke feelings, feelings that change with nuanced differences in how sharp a pencil is or how much pressure is applied.

Strength is an aspect of drawing I had never quite considered. Strength and delicacy must balance to give an image realism. Throughout the semester, I struggled to and am still learning how to make my images not look cartoonish, with thick outlines and heavy shading. I've found that balance is necessary to make an image aesthetically pleasing, and more so, to tell a story. Objects must be placed in parts of the picture that balance the use of the space, shading must allow for light and dark, subjects must balance to tell some narrative or express an idea, and creativity must be grounded in realism that allows viewers to empathize and relate.

Drawing simply uses one tool - a pencil - and one backdrop - a blank sheet of paper - to create an image. Perhaps the best lesson I have learned this semester has been the magic in sitting down with no technology and no need for endless materials to tell one's story. 

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