Poet Margaret Randall, was a student of Elaine de Kooning’s at the University of New Mexico. She recalls Ms. de Kooning encouraging her students: “Think big, paint big, be wedded to nothing, neither landscape, nor abstraction, paint nor stone.” And “abandon long practiced becomes skill.”
I have some new things to look at under “drawings” and “painting.” Abandon was practiced. Thanks for looking. Get vaccinated if you can.
How are you doing? I hope you’re well and not too lonely. These are uncertain times, but really, aren’t all times?
Before the virus reached Washington State, I was ready to move back into learning mode and away from production mode. I think there are 18-20 canvasses sitting in the living room (where else) and probably 75 drawings upstairs?
So, I signed up for a mix of online and in-person classes. Then the virus sent us home and my art studio went online! Now art history, contemporary art class joins a drawing class , etc, etc!
The drawing curriculum is from Sue Hettmansperger an artist and professor emeritus, via my art studio (The Miller School of Art). Her own work is beautiful.
The curriculum consists of things like: sit in a darkened room, recording your reactions to noises. Notice that she doesn’t say “draw the sounds” – it’s draw your reactions. And: “Pair intention with a particular mark and its most suitable medium.” It’s an intuitive drawing class. So I’m having to remind myself again and again – I’m not depicting – I’m drawing my responses. Awk-ward!
So, this was the challenge I set up for myself. Start with a warm-up. Warm up is using graphite on 24×36” paper. Warm up is drawing with my whole arms (a graphite stick in each hand) making as many different kinds of marks as I can, but without a plan. Just moving.
Part two: using an eraser only, pull out a self-portrait. No adding any more lines. And do it ten times.
Part three: after 10 times I allowed myself to add in more lines. Still thinking about it. hmmmmm.