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Back to the Drawing Board

There are a lot of expressions about drawing - drawing a line, making an outline, re-draw, render, delineate, and more. Funny thing about just drawing ... seems to have a lot more meaning than I may have previously noticed.

I used to spend a lot of evenings drawing - and by 'used to' I mean in my twenties. At that time I was still learning basic skills, as well as thinking about how I wanted to draw, and exploring what kind imagery I wanted to make.

But I haven't done much just drawing in a long time. For the past years when I do draw, I'm usually working out sketches for paintings - organizing space (making an outline) - but not drawing to make a drawing. Why would I want something that's just black and white?

But over the last week I have spent some evenings drawing and very much enjoyed it. Although it brings up lots of issues - including self-doubt and wondering if the drawings are any good, and if I can still see both the paper as well as the source. These things get tricky with age and the need for reading glasses...
I've been watching a series of video lectures on how the brain works. When the professor got to the discussion of how the eyes work she pointed out, among other things, the difference between seeing with the rods - black and white - and the cones - color.

Apparently the rods are near the periphery of the retina and most of the cones are in the center. So when we see movement come into our field of vision, we must turn our heads to focus on it - to center the image in order to see detail. But, it also turns out, that the rods are much more sensitive - which is why you can see a dim star out of the corner of your eye, but when you turn your head to look with the center of your eye (cones) it fades away.

She also pointed out what the brain looks for, in order to define what you are seeing - and it is - movement, edges, and disrupted patterns. It turns out we notice these first with the rods, the part of the eye that sees value - the black and white. We have to see that first - before we can focus in and give a name to what we are looking at.

Funny, that's what I've been thinking all along in terms of what's important about vision and what I want to emphasize in my imagery  - but suddenly I am also thinking about the difference between drawing and painting and how each is useful to describe how we perceive edges - how the edge of color creates a line and either can define form - but I know our brains search for that line.

I've never liked drawings that are all surface and no edges - 'shading' and no lines. I am a big fan of mark making -  marks that make edges - edges that describe form - making marks to make imagery that informs us of how we create a meaning from those bits of information.

So drawing is about making an exploration into the active world view that we need to create first - before seeing color and finding out about a more inclusive and more specific order of differentiation. We need to see form first - We really do need an outline. So maybe seeing the world in black and white has a lot more value (pun intended) than I had thought.

There are endless analogies here - but I'll hold off for now that I've sketched out the idea. :) 

I need to add that It seems strange to even think about art in the middle of the world in crisis. But a little black and white thinking here might serve us well.

What do you think? l would love to hear your thoughts.
and -- keep scrolling for the goldfish offer!
(also I think if you click on the pics they enlarge on a computer, on a phone pick the view in browser option at the top to enlarge the drawings.)
To find out more about these drawing see my website blog entry here - after you finish reading about how to get your fish bowl!
yes, just keep scrolling down....
In the mean time I've also been making some mugs for the season. There are a few right now in the etsy shop. But these will have trout on them. I have a dozen more that might have goldfish on them if there is interest let me know. I had some other goldfish mugs but they got sold from Instagram even before they went to etsy.
I sent out some fish bowls with orders last week-end, but I have plenty left. If you are local email me and we can plan how you can get yours - where to drop off or pick up. Otherwise I will have something up on etsy - I am sorry, but you will need to pay the postage - it will be about $10* - I will make the listing and coupon as soon as I can and send it out no later than next Monday.
More items should drop next week - I did not get things photographed and listed last week. If you want something specific for the holidays let me know in an email. Some things that were on etsy might still be available.

gratefully yours as always,

*A note about the raise in post office parcel rates for the holiday was in a previous newsletter.... but a quick search online brings up the damage done to the entire Postal Service - insert crazy face here!
go to my etsy shop
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