Friday, July 26, 2013
Danny Gregory is to Blame (and that's a good thing)
When I work in my sketchbooks I may draw a chair from my house or perhaps a lamp on the page without any preconceived idea of a finished product. The chair or lamp don't really represent anything I just keep the pen moving then see what else happens to show up on the page. Working in the sketchbook is a meditation for me. I work intuitively and with crazy imagination. I go directly to the page with a pen (my favorite is Uniball) and I don't bother about mistakes because I don't know what I'm doing so I don't really know if there are mistakes.
As I sketch or add color (usually with watercolors) the drawing fills the page easily. I lose myself there and often I am quite surprised at what is revealed. Almost always phrases or words, or a bit of poetry evolves during the process and I may interrupt the drawing to scribble this somewhere on the page. If I don't do that I capture it on another piece of paper to add it later.
Two days ago I finally treated myself to Danny Gregory's book, "The Creative License." This book has been on my list of books to own and I'm loving it. I won't tell you too much about it so you can get your own copy to explore, but now I blame Danny Gregory for making me bring stuff back into my house that I had boxed up to give away. I had a few boxes of items sitting on the back porch waiting to be donated. Now I'm glad no one got around to doing it. Treasures to draw!
He will inspire you to draw every chance you get and to draw every ordinary thing in your house. In one section of the book he made the suggestion to go to a flea market to collect things to draw and there you go...I put the book down and retreived the box of ceramic figurines (mostly cats and dogs). I immediately arranged some on the dining room table and drew this. Next I think that I can turn them all around and draw the backs, or lay them on their sides and draw them that way, or upside down. (See what I mean?)
There really is no excuse for not grabbing every ten minutes or so you have and filling up sketchbooks. I want to draw my toothpaste, the basket of dirty towels, everything in my pantry, or the inside of my dog's mouth. Keeping an illustrated journal and working in it every day will sharpen your skills on how you see things and how you draw things. As Danny says, "There are no bad drawings. Drawings are experiences. The more you draw, the more experienced you'll get."
Get to it. One day you'll be rewarded with a shelf full of journals portraying your daily life. And if you want inspired buy a Danny Gregory book or visit his blog.