I have never thought of myself as good at drawing. It is either despite this, or because of it, that I took the recent drawing workshop hosted by artist-in-residence Teodora Zamfirescu. Or maybe I'm just a workshop addict--I do try to take them all, scheduling permitting. The workshop took place over three Wednesday evening sessions, and while I am not certain at all that I improved, I did enjoy myself.
The first task was to do a drawing of your life, as a means of introducing yourself to the group (theoretically less boring and awkward than the usual go-around-the-room). Some of the workshop participants took this figuratively--two people just wanted to draw question marks--but I was pretty literal. I had no problem picking out the key items:
My cabin and garden, my car, the radio station, KIAC and Bombay Peggy's (complete with red lights by the door), a helicopter (rather than paperwork) for my job. My boyfriend just outside the cabin, with me and my books and laptop inside. Teodora also asked us to include an aspect of a recent dream, and because I rarely remember my dreams, I could only come up with something inappropriate, hence the two people kissing in the idea bubble.
Later in the evening, we worked on upside down drawings as a method to train ourselves to "really see." My second attempt at a copy of Teodora's line drawing of Matthew Barney in the Cremaster Cycle (an excellent choice of subject matter...) turned out pretty good:
Our homework was to practice upside down drawings; I practiced at the radio station during my show, using album covers:
One exercise from the second week had us using brush and ink to draw by feel. Teodora gave each of us an object in a plastic bag and we had to draw the textures without looking at the object. I had a gross plastic axe. The largest one is the sight-unseen version, and the two smaller ones were done during week three, when we could look at the object:
Our last drawing in class was a mish-mash of the exercises done throughout the workshop:
In this drawing: various texture techniques, part of an upside down drawing of a Frank Cole movie poster, the axe, and drawing with a foreign object (ink and wax paper). I wanted to fill the whole upper part with textures but of course ran out of time. My favourite part is the stippling:
Detail oriented and repetitive--just my kind of thing, apparently.
Over all, I don't think I can say that I am actually good at drawing. But I do think that part of this is a mental block: my drawing is often more cartoonish than I would like, and I let myself get caught up in repetitive abstractions rather than forcing myself to practice more figurative techniques. It really is a matter of practice; I'm sure if I did a drawing a day I would be better at it eventually, and perhaps come close to the style I wish to have. But I wouldn't want a drawing a day to distract me from my workshop whoredom. And I like my John Steins print to hang in it's usual spot:
I am a little proud of my budding art collection--I could claim it's curatorial work, after all.