Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How does this happen?

I wonder how ancient man decided to create art. Was it something that was always in us? Or did someone invent it, like they did the wheel? My painting professor, in college, said he always imagined that two cave guys were sitting around the fire one day and one of them picked up a rock with three dark spots on it, and said, "look, Lou, this looks kind of like a face, except it needs a mouth." So Lou picks up a partially burned stick from the fire and scrawls a mouth on the rock, below the spots that already look like two eyes and a nose, then he adds a couple of eyebrows just for emphasis and the rock has become a face. Lo—art was born. It could have happened that way.

I can't remember when I didn't draw. I can't remember when my granddaughter, much more recently began to draw. She was pretty young. At six her drawing is pretty sophisticated and is most often  her formula for "princess" which includes eyelashes and elaborate hairdos and very detailed clothing, but sometimes I think she is tapping into something more primitive and elemental. This.


This face is astonishing to me. I looked at that and wished I had that kind of eye. I am in love with that face. And just to be more clear about it:


Sometimes I think most of us are trying too hard.

15 comments:

  1. Looks to me like this little granddaughter has the "art gene" in spades. WOW!!

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  2. The face is very Picasso-esque. Very sophisticated. I am so envious of people that can draw without inhibition. I am (and always have been, even as a small child) too caught up in symmetry, perfection and exact replication that it cripples and stifles the simplest of doodles. I am so happy to see that Sophia does not suffer from the same ailments that I have. She is amazing!

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  3. I so agree with you on this, Terry!

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  4. There must be an ability to focus on only the important parts that we loose as we mature and begin to understand more and more -- and therefore too many things become "important." Perhaps it's not so much trying too hard, but it's an inability to edit. Time to focus on the essentials! :-)

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    1. I think you are right, Kristin. I know I fight that "too many things" impulse constantly. I also wonder how much the drawing implement has to do with it. When Sofia draws with a pencil, she is much more detailed and fussy than with a fat marker. Maybe I need to do a few drawings with something that fat (a burned stick??!) and see what happens.

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    2. I once had a life drawing teacher who took away our pencils and slim sticks of charcoal and made us draw only with the huge cigar sized charcoal sticks. The change was amazing to see... I highly recommend that everyone try it!

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  5. Wow! Captured the essence completely!

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  6. Wow! That face is fascinating, indeed I wish I could "see" this, too. Is it the simplicity or the sophistication, or more?

    Linda
    www.OneFootinFrance.blogspot.com

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  7. Wonderful! Makes you wish you could undo all the training and worry about what others think.

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  8. Oh, wow, Terry!! That is an incredible drawing by Sofia. My kind of face for sure. Talk about distilling down to the essential elements.

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  9. My drawing teacher gave us a stick from her yard, some ink and a model. I should do that again. Thanks for sharing this.

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  10. Young kids tend to not worry about what others will think about thier work, and at the same time get totally immersed in the process. Most adults lose that ability to be so totally in the moment. No matter what your media somthing like changing the size of your mark making tool can help you be much more in the moment with the process and even the most "trained" artist becomes more genuine under that set of cirucumstances. It is really good for us, and to help even more, Use a tool and materials that are recycled so there is no precious feeling to what you are doing.

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  11. Oh boy... she's almost taking off with the Picasso half face... Half the face looks straight ahead, and half is a profile. Guide her Granny, guide her.
    I loved doing this very lesson with my 1st graders each year. It blew their minds to follow the basic directed drawing instructions. The kids went crazy with oil pastels, and the parents were blown away with the results. We did cool colors on one side and warm colors on the other. So many different teaching concepts in one lesson.
    Then I would have them write about the characters they had created. Turned them into reading books.... on and on... I miss teaching little people how to read and write.
    You have such potential to work with. Wish I lived closer... I'd lean over your shoulder. :-)
    Hugs from Mary

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  12. I just love your blog.... gets my brain charged!

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