After a conversation, about the benefits of drawing, with a previous professor at the local coffee shop. I started to think about the current pedagogy of teaching the practice of creating fine art.
If drawing is the basis of art, as I am told, then why don’t you need to be able to draw to be an artist these days. Now some people might disagree with me, but please finish reading until you post a comment.
I think that there are very good lesson learned from drawing such as; understanding the difference between what you see and what you think you see, understanding how/why you make the marks that you make, and refining ideas. In my undergrad experience I had to take six drawing classes and only two of those classes actually taught me the lessons above. The reason is because before drawing 3/4 we did small task based assignments (contour line, inner contour line, perspective). I don’t disagree with learning these things, but I do disagree with the way they were taught. Because they were treated as isolated assignments I just wanted to get them done and over with.
That was drawing 1/2 and then I ended up in drawing 3/4 the atmosphere changed. The class wasn’t treated as a “class” but more of a workshop. We came in and drew vigorously from life for two hours and then reflected on the drawings, learning and thinking after every step.
I think that it is the process of making – reflecting – acting – making, in which became the invaluable lesson of drawing.
I think that after you realize this process in drawing you can apply it to any other form of art without sitting down and drawing. For me it is most appropriate for an idea to spring into my head – then sit on it – then do some samples – then make it. Because I don’t sit down and do a detailed sketch of exactly what it will look like give me the flexibility to evolve alongside the piece.
At some point “drawing” becomes more of a technical problem instead of a learning dialogue. I think it is time to acknowledge this. By doing so we can substitute what we can learn from most processes what we learn from drawing, therefore turning drawing into a mere technical problem.