There is a delicious space between one’s head and the page. Sometimes I am not so aware of it as I begin to draw. But several drawings of late have me pondering this place where connections are made, lines speak like words, life informs lines, and vice versa.
Certainly no one would see this expansive space as I draw. I could imagine it as a cloud, or a bubble, or some kind of foggy mist that actually sharpens sight instead of muddling it.
Just the act of opening my sketchbook opens the door to this space and I can either dive right in with pen to paper or sit for a few moments imagining the entire scene as it presents itself for the drawing. And as so often happens, even as I’m drawing, more is made clear to add to the page. Clarity comes while we draw.
This space that exists between the marks on the page and the mind of the one making them, might be called a translator. As I look at a tree, or imagine one in my head, I seek to render it in such a way that the viewer can see it too. The tree in front of me, or in a photo, gets scrambled, or simplified, or abstracted, in some way as it travels through my own eyes and down into the pen or brush. I am translating the actual object I seek to draw into my own version. Even if I am successful at rendering a near-exact copy of it, the tree on my page nevertheless has distinct “markers” which are all my own. Over years of drawing, one becomes more adept at translating what one desires to draw. It is a never-ending, always interesting, journey of visual language.
The value of drawing for everyone, and not artists only, is precisely this space between head and paper. It is to engage one’s translator mechanism and sharpen its ability to communicate. This all sounds like gobbledygook when really the simplest of tools are needed: paper, a pen or pencil, and a few moments of quiet reflection.
The first lesson in my 64-page ebook on Drawing Your Life asks you to draw a chair, encouraging you to find time to actually sit down in one to sketch for a few minutes. It may be one of the hardest lessons…slowing down our lives enough to engage with that ethereal space of clarity and connection.
Enough about ethereal spaces and weird bubbles around our heads…it’s just plain fun to see where a line might take you! Even as you sit in a chair.😁
***If you are just visiting here, I am drawing a tree every day for a year! I’m only about three weeks or so into this but my excitement hasn’t lagged yet and I’d love your company in drawing the same thing every day. One artist friend online has decided to also draw trees daily, while another artist friend is drawing furniture every day. The possibilities are endless…❤️