Monday Motivator: Art is … Looking?

The more you look, the more you see. The more looking you do, the more you realise there are different ways to see.

Monsieur P painting

“…art is not so much the way things look, but a way of looking at things.

It is a way of looking at the world, of interacting with the world…”

— Samuel Rowlett, “Why Can’t You Draw?“, Hyperallergic

A drawing or painting can be about appearance and representation, about “reality”, about “looking like” an object or landscape. Many people think this is what art ought to be, the ultimate (and only) achievement. But a drawing or painting can also be something else too, something beyond realism, less confined, less predictable, more about the maker thereof than the object or scene being depicted.To take one example: a drawing can be about the looking, tracing the movement of your eyes.

My favourite way to do this is a continuous line drawing, where (theoretically) you don’t pick up the pencil and place it in a new spot but draw the line of the movement of your eyes. Unless you closed your eyes between looking at two things, your eyes did track across what’s in between, even if you didn’t consciously register it. Though most of the time I do it as not-quite-continuous line, stopping and restarting after a bit, or “cheat” by making the “joining lines” very light.

Almost Continuous Line Rose Drawing

2 Replies to “Monday Motivator: Art is … Looking?”

  1. I remember when I started art college being told to forget all I knew about drawing then given a twig and pot of ink and told to continuous draw life models..with a twig dipped in ink it was even harder than using a pencil however it made me concious of what lines were important…which were not. One or two well chosen lines can describe so much.

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