Friday, August 29, 2008

An Un-Conventional Drawing

While watching the Democratic National Convention last night, I grabbed a pen and a sketch book and created this drawing. Right out of my head with no references whatsoever. I know, I know; it has faults. Lots of them. But the point is that I did it and didn't stress over it! In fact, I had a wonderful time just letting the creativity flow.

I used to draw this way all the time as a kid which is a lot of how I learned to draw. I didn't do endless correcting with tracing paper like I do now. If the drawing didn't turn out well, I set it aside and did another. And after that another and another. I had piles and piles of drawings, many of them in ink like this one. At some point, I started keeping the best drawings and did that for many years. In fact, I still have those old drawings going back to when I was about 5 years old. The smaller ones are in a box, and the larger ones are in my flat files. I talk about that in my website biography. You can also see some of my old drawings there and on this page of my website.

When I go through those old drawings from my childhood days, which I do periodically, I'm struck by how much life and energy they have. In fact, they have a lot more life and energy than some of the work I've done in recent years which I've labored over to get so exactly correct. I guess that's the difference between the two. The drawings I did as a kid were done with such joy in the process and love for horses that total accuracy was secondary. I drew whatever I wanted to at that moment and whatever fantasy was in my head.

That is not to say that I didn't strive to improve my drawing skills. I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't.

The thing is that over the years, creating art has become more and more about the end result and less and less about enjoying the process of creation. Creating for the market and chasing sales pushed aside the little muse that spent so much time on my shoulder as a little girl. I want her back! I want to recapture that joy of creation without worrying about whether the eyes line up or the head is too big. I want to become that horse crazy little girl again and lose myself in drawing for hours on end like I did last night.

That's why this drawing is important. I finished it about the same time that Barack Obama finished his acceptance speech, and then I realized that I'd hardly heard a word of what he'd said! That's what I'm talking about.

So here is my un-conventional drawing which I've titled, "Did Someone Say Cookies?" I love the inquisitive expression on this horse's face, crooked eyes and all.


Sound the Bugle Studio said...

Karen, I love this fun drawing. One can certainly tell you know horses. :)

You captured the "cookie face" perfectly!


Karen Thumm said...

Thanks, Helen! I hope to do many more of these.