I’ve called my program of lessons Art Magic.
This is not because I am going to pull a painting out of a top hat, or have you painting pictures of people being sawn in half or doing card tricks. I’ve called it Art Magic because it is my hope that you will leave each hour with me surprised and pleased by something you made.
Often we inhibit ourselves with preconceptions or with tried and tested approaches that can channel one all too soon into an approach to Art making that may well be enjoyable but can preclude the discovery of other approaches. How often have you been asked: What is your favorite color? My answer is often I like them all. How often has someone asked: Do you prefer to draw or paint? I like to do both. That said I do have a special fondness for drawing for the simple reason that it is, for me, where ideas begin. The definition of drawing can be very broad and we will explore different ways of drawing throughout this program.
I enjoy taking away choices or/and limiting choices of materials and approaches and then slowly adding them back again like ingredients to a cake. Sometimes you find that too many ingredients make the cake TOO sweet. If you sit down with a hundred colors in front of you might find that you cannot decide which color to use. If, on the other hand, someone gives you a crayon and a piece of paper, and instructions on how to begin you are then free to simply see where your imagination takes you. Because of those limitations you’ll see how the imagination rises up in indignation and finds a way to fight back. This will not be because of what I have done but because of what you do in response to my suggestions.
DAY 1 (10.7.09)
Progressive drawing techniques
I’ve called this, today’s drawing game, Symmetrees for a reason. Symmetry is a word that describes a form of patterning that usually incorporates repeat patterns up down or left right. Single images can be created in this process but one side of the image will often mirror the other side of the image. This can be a very exacting way of making images or one can apply the process loosely to create something a little more organic and surprising. How one approaches this is personal but the approach I prefer is more organic and loose. I do not want any of you to get too uptight or worried about how you do this. The project is supposed to be fun and you will leave today’s class with something that surprises you.
Every piece of paper in this bag is unique. As I come around each of you should take one piece. There are no tricks here and no piece of paper is better or worse as far as I am concerned.
In this bag are a pile of crayons. I want you to each reach in and take one. I’d like to go very fast. I don’t want to see you thinking too hard—not today. If we have time at the end we will do another quick drawing game.
This, the first class, lasted all of half an hour. There was a conflict of interest. The sun was shining outside and it was a warm, fall afternoon, and the kids wanted to go outside. Before that though we had fun. Some responded seriously, listening and applying my instructions with due diligence. Some embroidered on my suggestions and some, given the slightest encouragement, went nuts and essentially destroyed their drawings in the process.