drawing on experience

I love drawing. I’m passionate about the subject, life drawing in particular. Give me any pose and I will gladly spend hours drawing the model from all directions. At the moment I am using an old text book, “The Story of the Mind” by J.M.Baldwin  and working with my reed pen and black drawing ink. Inside the book is named and dated Frances R. Rowbury Friday, February 6th 1903. The results are unusual, slightly different, the drawn image juxtaposing with the text. I apologise for defacing a book, but believe the two are working together to create new resonance. The drawings are simple but each study is unique.

I love artists’ drawings and their sketchbooks in particular. I believe they reveal a lot about the artist when they are at their most relaxed. Look at the drawing of Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, Egon Schiele. All are inspirational.

Drawing is second nature to me, something I will never tire of; it’s as normal in my life as sneezing or as necessary as sleeping. God knows where it comes from. I didn’t draw that much as a child but I was always making things, cutting and glueing, sticking and stitching. I haven’t kept any of it. But I do treasure my sketchbooks and notebooks and could never part with any of them. They are an extension of me, a visual diary and a barometer on the world.

I am hoping in the next few days to upload images from these sketchbooks. I’d like this to be a way of sharing the images, opening up the book to a wider audience. Otherwise no one will ever get to see them, which would be a shame.

I’d like to see more people taking up drawing. It’s easy to do and anyone can do it. If you can write your name you can certainly draw. I imagine like music the more you practise the better you get. So like scales I try to practise everyday, or at least four times a week, that way I am keeping my hand in.  And I like to vary the drawing media; at the moment I’m using dip pen and a yoghurt pot of ink! My fingers get inky and I am wise to wear black clothes. That way I can relax, and make a mess. Anyway it washes out and anything to do with making art is a worthwhile cause.

Last weekend I made a big mistake however. I photographed all the sketches in the book using a tiny blob of blu-tak to hold the pages flat so that I could photograph the next page. Big mistake. When I came to use the sketch book todayI had to remove the blu-tak and guess what? The pages of my book were so old and fragile they were tearing even though I was trying to remove it very carefully. I shall have to find another method of holding the pages flat when I photograph. Possibly by using a piece of perspex although I shall lose some of the clarity and naturalness. Any other ideas? Let me know!

Ah well, we all make mistakes but that’s the only way we ever learn.


3 Responses to “drawing on experience”

  1. rachelkasaven Says:

    I’m afraid I’m artistically challenged – drawing, painting, pottery (where I did a completely horrendous bust/self-portrait thing which my mother insisted on displaying for years). I think you do have to have some natural ability. Although when I finally do get round to retiring I would love to try painting…maybe I’ll need you to give me lessons!

  2. Fran Says:

    I’ve never been able to draw. I think I’ll just have to stick with painting by words.

    • Sara Hayward Says:

      Well, you’re very good at that. I was just trying to be Devil’s advocate. I think. And often the most naive untutored drawings are the freshest and best. It is also very relaxing and you do “lose” yourself in it when you get going – just like writing I suppose.

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