Doodles and the subconscious.

dec1 prringglassgoodI am interested in the way the subconscious mind works and how it interacts with the conscious mind. I am an inveterate doodler. When I start I’m still listening to the words of the meeting but maybe a word or an oblique thought starts me off. Afterwards I am sometimes surprised at what I have drawn. I enjoy the strange accidental juxtaposition of the words and the images, it seem to add an extra strange dimension. On the one above, I like the way I made the glass and the spiral come away from the main body of the drawing on threads…I wonder why I did that?

dec 1 curvecastle

I often seem to draw structures, as above and below. I like the chunky solidity that I drew in the top one. The lower one seems more peitentiary like, then there are little pencil drawings round the edge.

I think it could be a good idea to have an exhibition of peoples doodles!

dec1 bowlerhorse

I have no idea why a pony and a bowler hatted man appeared; They just materialiseddec1 barechestmandec1 angelcake

I have been thinking a lot about drawing today. A friend sent me an article on Facebook from the Guardian about drawing in art colleges. Someone was bewailing the fact that it wasn’t considered important any more, in many art schools it is not part of the curriculum. In the past drawing  was an important part of becoming an artist. Could you call yourself an artist if you couldn’t draw?  It was also part of your training. In many art schools especially the more traditional ones, if you were studying the figure you started on plaster casts then graduated to life drawing.  I would have left out the casts and gone straight on to the model. It did teach you to observe and surely that is useful in anything that you do.

I read a lot of the messages expressing different points of view. There was one very detailed one. He was suggesting that there were now two different forms of art, fine art, which included drawing but which he obviously thought was old fashioned and Contemporary Art where drawing was largely irrelevant. He was suggesting that it only had a place in the foundation courses.

I have loved to draw all my life, but has it made me a better artist? Maybe not. That’s why I don’t call myself an artist. It has made me a more observant person and given me a sense of wonder about the diversity of the world around me. It has enhanced my imagination (back to empathy again the reason I started the blog in the first place) It has been a useful way of exploring ideas, and developing them. I have been able to study movement, light, composition. It has compelled me to make further works.

The advent of the camera, film, computers and video have given another way of exploring; a way that is more characteristic of the age we live in. The concept has become almost more important than the outcome. The advent of Dadaism, Abstract Expressionism, Post Modernism could all survive without drawing. I have to concede that you can still be an artist without being able to draw but it makes me feel unutterably sad. The mark left by the human hand holding a pencil or pen can come directly from the heart. Why did I cry when I saw the humanity in the drawings of Rembrandt and Van Gogh, because the marks that they had made distilled their feeling and it came straight throughout all the intervening the years to me from them. Empathy.

There could be hope, the study of art history shows that the current contemporary pre-occupations are often superceded. Pre Raphaelism and Impressionism come to mind, ran counter to the current orthodoxies. Painting and drawing could be rediscovered in a different form…I hope so. Bring on freedom to follow your own path in art school wherever it may lead you, as long as you do it sincerely and well. Bring on unorthodoxy.

dec1 releasebird

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