Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thoughts on Drawing // Sujal Manohar

I have always had a passion for art, whether it was photography, drawing, collage, or painting. From a young age, I would doodle, make messy watercolor drawings, and create small Play-doh “sculptures”. I began taking art classes around age 8, and continued (though I switched teachers three times) until my senior year of high school. I even considered attending the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). However, I came to Duke because I wanted to study more than just art, and explore its interconnections with a variety of other fields. Art is my escape from the world around me, and I know I will pursue it in some form for the rest of my life.

This class has surprised me in many ways. Firstly, I didn’t expect to spend this much time simply talking about our work. I usually see drawing as an individual process, not really a group discussion. However, this format really opened my eyes to the value of group critique, and I enjoyed hearing about other people’s struggles, processes, and techniques while sharing my own. Another thing that surprised me was how quickly the class picked up. Admittedly, on the first day, I thought the class would be a little slow-paced. However, after a few weeks, the techniques and assignments picked up, and I was genuinely challenged by some projects. I have never really done empirical perspective, negative space drawings, or fantasy drawings of this scale. I think I learned a lot from this class, since I was trying out new subject material in ways I had not before. Drawing on 18” x 24” paper challenged me, and I learned a lot from listening to the drawing discussions of my peers and exploring new subject matters.

I also enjoyed that the class was connected to other arts events, such as meeting Mexican artist Sergio Santamaría. I absolutely loved his work, and gained a lot of value from visiting his gallery. I also liked the trip to the Nasher and drawing outdoors.

I am incredibly sad that this class does not count towards my Visual Arts minor (it really should!) but I am definitely glad I took Drawing. It was my favorite class of the semester, and even the assignments didn’t feel like daunting tasks. Instead, they were a way for me to relax and get my mind off my other homework.  

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