Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Drawing

"I only work when I feel the need to express something.
I may not be sure of exactly what it is,
but I know that something is cooking and when I am on the right track.
The need is very strong.
To express your emotions, you have to be very loose and receptive.
The unconscious will come to you, if you have that gift that artists have.
I only know if I'm inspired by the results."


"Art is a guarantee of sanity. That is the most important thing I have
said."  
Louise Bourgeois (1911 - 2010)

One of the basic of all art skills is drawing as seen from the prehistoric times until now. It is the most popular art form to this date. A drawing can provide an insightful glimpse into the drawer's experience/inner world etc. It can evoke emotions, feelings, memories. It can also cast light on impulses such as dreams, death, love, violence etc. As humans we all have a need to create wholeness, and creative process is one way to achieve that. So for visual artists drawing appears to be the core of that process.


Hunters and elephants, Cederberg, South Africa (image - wikipedia)
Santa Cruz province, Argentina (image - wikipedia)
Lascaux cave drawing (image - wikipedia)

When I was in high school my attempts to draw were discouraged. But that didn't stop me from drawing once in  a while with water color and on rough paper. You put the paint on the paper and start playing with it - something emerges and you continue to play. I hadn't heard of all the artists who create beautiful drawings in different parts of the world. I didn't know drawing is as important as painting. No one told me about sketchbooks. When I migrated to the US one of the things I could not believe and liked immediately was the art supply store. It was huge, with many aisles and products for creating. It was overwhelming for me. So I purchased my first drawing set. I tried to copy a figure drawn by an artist and it was very frustrating. Another failure.
I enrolled in art classes. I took three classes with the same instructor. Inspired by her teachings, I decided to take a drawing class with her. We did all sorts of exercises and the part I hated was still life drawing using the messy charcoal in all its forms. We drew pop corn on huge sheet of paper, figures and so on. Thus began the journey. As I delved deeper into it, I discovered that drawing is one of the things I can actually do. It is a powerful tool to express and calm the inner self.
Images from an altered book that I did for a class.





I do a little bit of warm ups on my sketch book. I come to the white surface of paper with no preconceived ideas. Guided by intuition and the unconscious I begin to make marks. Lines, shapes and organic forms begin to appear. Charcoal, ink, gouache,  Staedtler and Caran d'Ache pencils, crayons, pastels, oil stick, tea, and gesso are some of the mediums I utilize. It is needless to say that there are numerous mediums to draw with. Drawing is one of the passionate activities that I am obsessed with. Below are some samples of my drawings.

Ink and gouache on paper 
Ink and gouache on paper 
Charcoal on paper 
Twisted paper on brown paper 
Ink on fabric
Print 
Body print on fabric 
Krishna, gouache on paper 
A page from a sketchbook
Another sketchbook page