“I’m just going to put a spot of red here....” “a highlight there....” I do admire artists who can paint and talk at the same time; I find it impossible to even think rationally, let alone explain what I’m doing.
I have written before about the mindless pursuit of drawing (see the archived blog of February 2014)
I can become so involved with the subject, whatever it is - a person, a rock or a building, that I can feel it physically. My senses of touch, taste and smell are as engaged as my sight. I know how a wall tastes, how the sky smells and how a sound moves. I suppose that this is mild synesthesia (Wikipedia defines this as ‘a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway’). It only happens when I am really involved with a drawing, and I slip in and out of it.
My drawing may or may not work, the end result might be rubbish and not worth keeping, but the experience is always worth the effort.
If I don’t respond, one person usually decides to enlighten the others and describe what I am doing. “See, there is that tree, and she’s just doing the house next to it. Now she’s going to paint the tree – oh I don’t know why she’s made it that colour.....” I can’t tell you how tempted I am to write GO AWAY or BE QUIET across the picture, or draw a naked man in the bushes. But I don’t, because I am a Nice Girl and I just pretend to be deaf.
When I am doing live paintings of musicians or dancers it takes so much focus that I find it difficult to recognise anyone, let alone acknowledge them. I’ll never forget one well-meaning person who popped up at the Jazz Festival between my easel and the band I was painting, and said “Hi Jeni! Do you still go to yoga?” I’m afraid I was very rude. Sorry, whoever you were.
I teach by giving people the tools they need to start seeing differently and thereby drawing accurately and confidently. Simple exercises can help people shift from left to right brain perception and make drawing easier than they ever thought it could be. I find that people who say “I can’t draw but I’ve always wanted to” make the most remarkable progress by learning in this way. I love seeing their faces when they discover that they can draw after all.
If you would like to join us on this adventure please contact firstname.lastname@example.org