Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Drawing Evolution

I've been thinking that the narrative piece of my thesis project needs to include some exploration into the origins of art-making in my life so, I went and looked through some of my old sketchbooks. It was pretty neat to see how differently I see things today.

As far back as I can remember, I was encouraged to draw. My mom always had crayons and markers on hand when I was growing up. I was given sketchbooks for christmas and I learned all about the different grades of pencil lead from my dad. I used to go with him to the small art supply store in our town. It smelled of linseed oil and new paper in there and I loved going because my dad would let me pick out a few pencils, kneadable erasers and stomps (used to blend the pencil on the paper).

I always liked drawing people and faces. In one of my earliest drawing memories, I'm drawing a portrait of my dad and trying to decide if his mustache belongs above his mouth or below it. I think I may have tried it both ways to see which one worked best.

Later, I enjoyed making up characters in my drawings. Like this one drawing that I did when I was 9:
(note the Jonathan Taylor Thomas poster in the corner, LOL!)
Here is another face drawing done around the same time:
Art was always my favorite subject in school, but I first learned to draw at home from my dad. He taught me that learning to draw was really about learning to see. Learning to see the dark areas and the lights, the shadows and the highlights, learning to see not only the shape of something, but also it's depth, and how the light hits it. He taught me that drawing from life requires going beyond what the mind first encounters and labels, in order to look more deeply and see what is really there.
(These two drawings I did when I was a teenager)
In high school, I spent a lot of time drawing in my sketchbooks, drawing faces from magazines (like the ones above), flowers and still life's. I especially loved drawing eyes. Every once in awhile, I still catch myself doodling eyes and flowers in the margins of notebooks....
Have you ever kept a sketchbook? What kinds of things did you/do you like to draw? Did it change over time?



EricaG said...

I had to laugh! I had trouble placing my dad's mustache, too. For me, it was a question of over or under the nose! The family still teases me.

dancingyogini said...

I love that you shared your early drawings and the process of beginning art as taught by your dad. I don't have sketchbooks but I have journals from when I was younger. I think the earliest is from around 7 when I talked about how annoying my brothers were. I've kept constant journals since I was 13 and I love reading back on them. maybe they were the beginnings of blogging.

Jess Loyer said...

I love this post! Good on you having the guts to share your early drawings publicly. It's really important to recognize and validate the journey that got you to where you are right now (Jonathan Taylor Thomas and all).

Like @dancingyogini, I have been a compulsive journaller/writer forever. My parents have hundreds of notebooks at their house filled with my stories and my angst. Maybe one of these days I'll take a deep breath and publish some of those pages on my blog too.

Kristen said...

Oh boy, Jonathan Taylor Thomas! :) Thanks for sharing these, I loved seeing them. I love what your dad said about how learning how to draw is really about learning how to see!



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