Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Why do you draw?

Xhosa child
graphite sketch 8 x 10
copyright Jeanette Jobson


I've explored this question before and the answers, while many, come back to the same things.

I draw because I like to intimately explore objects and recreate them in detail.

I draw because I have an instinctive need to do so. It becomes as automatic as breathing. There is no pressure externally to make me draw, but there is something internally, unspoken, unseen that urges me to make marks on paper or canvas.

I draw because it takes me away from the mundane world and lets me escape into the end of my pencil where nothing exists except the scritch scritch sound of graphite going onto paper. I am always surprised when I snap out of that meditative state and realize that time has passed.

I draw because I feel a connection to the past and need to keep the craft alive. From the time man scored marks on cave walls to the digital images of today, there is still that need to continue what our ancestors started.

Why do you draw?

Have you closely examined the process and what the pleasures and challenges are for you?

10 comments:

"JeanneG" said...

Jeanette you didn't say why you draw.

I used to draw because I wanted to. I liked the way I could make things look like the real thing with just a pencil.

Now I have discovered that I draw because I have to. I am not happy, complete, or satisfied without drawing.

Jeanette said...

Read it again Jeanne. All the reasons listed are why I draw.

I can be happy, complete and satisfied without drawing, but I enjoy the process of creating something on paper or canvas. I do it because I want to, not because I have to.

painter said...

I draw and paint because I want to, because I feel it is a calling and I am happier responding to a calling that I am turning away from one. That said, I am out of the habit of using a sketchbook or workbook and your blog is a good reminder of a good practice. My website is rickmobbs.com drop by if you have the time.

vivien said...

I draw for much the same reasons as you :)

I draw to explore what's there, to try to translate it into 2 dimensions, to look at the line and flow, the light and shadow, lost and found edges.

I draw with all sorts of different media to explore the kind of marks I can make with them.

I draw to work out ideas for paintings.

I draw to explain

I draw simply because I like it too :)

Rose Welty said...

I'm with Jeanne on this one. I get very grumpy when I don't draw. I almost think that my life is filled with noise and activity and so when I sit down to draw, the thinking, verbalizing, etc stops and my mind goes silent and I can just relax in a way that my brain doesn't allow any other time. I suppose it is a good "have to"!

"JeanneG" said...

Sorry Jeanette. I was thinking you were giving "for instances". As I was waiting for the comments to appear, I noticed that it was your reasons. Got a little red in the face.

~Gina Cuff said...

Hi Jeanette,

I feel compelled to create art. No matter how frustrated I get and say that I will never pick up a pencil or paint brush again, I always do. It's like something is pulling me. As well, I feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish a piece of work that I really don't get from other things.

~Gina

~Gina Cuff said...

When I draw or paint something I feel like I know it intimately when I am done. I could see a house or person a long time after I am finished painting or drawing that house or person and feel a strong sense of familiarity. Do you know what I mean?

Robyn said...

Drawing has a very special appeal for me too, Jeanette. I love graphite, when I make the effort, I am better with it than another other medium. The process has a wonderful calming effect on me too. So why do I struggle with watercolour and oil paint?! I really don't know.

Jeanette said...

I think that everyone's reasons are similar for drawing. THere is an internal desire to explore the world through the end of a pencil or brush and it brings satisfaction to create something that the world acknowledges as art.

I do understand Gina about knowing something well after its been drawn. I always get that feeling too after completing a drawing. Its as if I see the object for the first time.

I come back to dry media as my comfort zone too Robyn. I think some things are meant to be our forte. For me, its graphite and coloured pencils, for others its paints. We will always go back and forth, testing the waters, but pulling out my pencil and paper is like curling up in a comfy chair for me. I know the medium well and how it performs and what my limitations are.