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Monday, September 10, 2012

Thoughts on drawing

"Did you draw as a child?" A better question might be, "Besides drawing, what else did you do as a child?"

I was asked that question at a workshop this weekend here at a drawing workshop at El Cielo Studio, and I was surprised to learn that drawing is a lot like bicycle riding, you kind of pick up where you left off--45 years ago.

Thanks to Susie Monday and Sara Jones for leading us in our amazing journey wherein we explored our drawing skills, some rusty like mine, and some new ones, such as drawing with our non dominant hand.

We watched on Netflix the remarkable documentary, Cave of Forgotten Dreams,
by Werner Herzog about the 33,000 year old drawings made by the people who lived in a rich river valley along with bears, big cats and horses, which they drew deep inside a cave that was recently discovered. Little is known about the people who were our first artists, but here are some ideas, if not facts:

--they did not leave traces of living or cooking in the cave, only the images they painted of the large animals

--Some of the animals were shown with multiple legs to show movement, a type of 'proto cinema' according to Herzog, who is himself a trailblazer in his own right.

I spent hours upon hours this weekend with a pencil, charcoal or crayon in my hands. When I watched the documentary and saw the cave paintings our ancestors drew 33,000 years ago, I felt a connection to them.

I know as little about my "intentions" as I do of the cave artists, and maybe that's OK. Drawing may be to humans as running up a tree for fun is to a kitten or even a bear.