Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it. Anne Lamott, " Shitty First Drafts, " in Bird By Bird
Learning how to make the right mark is fundamental step, they are the life and energy of the drawing. This week we worked on improving our language skills, by extending our understanding of mark-making. An infinite number is possible, it is only our knowledge that is limited.
Student's began by covering the page with a single mark. They formed their image by adding and subtracting charcoal from the surface of the paper. A single mark can be manipulated in may different ways depending on the type of material used, changing the size and direction, and the effect of softening, rubbing and smearing. Using a simple subject, a gord under direct light, student's were able to focus more on mark-making than on the complexities of the model.
Understanding what makes a good drawing better is important. Today we critiqued our first drawing before starting the final. Each student was asked to respond to a series of questions when looking at the artwork of a neighbor; describe the mark; how was value developed; what do you like about the artwork and what would you improve upon. Student's used the suggestions of their peers in the making of their final piece.
A selection of drawings
from my Wednesday class
ARTIST'S WHO THRILL ME
Wow! Just look at the mark-making in these drawings by Frank Auerbach, I can't help but see him in action! His drawings have an "all over" feeling that helps you see the object and the negative space as an integrated whole. Below is a quote I found that really gets me thinking about my own practice, maybe it will connect with you too.
"People who turn out pictures and think "how nice," and then go on to the next picture seem terribly boring to me. You might as well work in a factory. The whole thing is about the struggle and the struggle makes it a fun activity." Frank Auerbach