There is a lot to be said for “Practice Makes Perfect” but how often do we practice not doing things and just observe?
As an obsessive maker of things I am also enamored with slow observation. This will sometimes cause me to put down all of the tools of making. I see this in my drawing practice as I experiment with slow and fast drawing. It is easier for me to get to the root of my motivations when I simplify the tools as I do with drawing. Currently, my two subjects are weekly sessions with a live model posing between 1- 5 minutes poses and landscape drawing.
|A slow contour drawing from one of my recent drawing sessions|
The challenge of being engaged in fast poses for 3 hours is to remember to slow down. I tend to ride the wave of a series of fast drawing before I hit the brakes and commit to a very slow contour line. This practice seems to fill the slow line with the energy and observation of everything that just happened in the previous set of fast drawings.
|A slow pencil drawing while out on a drive|
Driving out to the, larger than life, landscapes around New Mexico and attempting to render that experience in pencil marks on a page in my lap sometimes strike me as a ridiculously impossible task. I often find myself slowing down the drawing until I just stop and look. And than I think, it is finished as soon as I start looking and before I start drawing. There is nothing to do here but look.
As artists are makers, here is to honoring the practice of doing nothing but slow looking.