Saturday, January 26, 2008

drawing as entertainment

This picture was taken in April of 1991.

The skinny redhead with the marker in hand is me,, just turned 9.

I discovered early that people are fascinated by artists. whenever you see a caricature booth at a fair or someplace, there is usually a crowd gathered behind the artist watching him create. artists like Winsor McCay used this to their financial gain with "lightning sketches" acts in vaudeville in the beginning of the century, and other artists later developed the "chalk talk," like this gentleman, Rev. Phil Saint, whom I met in 1992-ish, a year before he died at 80.this drawing was probably done in 15-ish minutes, with chalks on a cloth surface that could be erased afterwards. he was 50% colorblind, and had to have an assistant lay out the colors in order on the tray and memorized where they were, but looking at his paintings, you wouldn't know he was at all colorblind:
He actually attended the same art school as my own private art intructor of 10 years- they were classmates and friends. She actually taught some classes in "chalk-talk" techniques, one of which I took.

I still enjoy using the drawing process as a form of entertainment. When i know someone is watching me draw, i will try to surprise them by the things i do. I might create a tension by keeping the subject a mystery, drawing vague shapes and tying it together at the last minute so it suddenly makes sense, or i might draw a "normal" picture and at the last minute add a minor detail to make it humorous or bizarre, like drawing a bugs bunny head, and then placing it on a plate in a waiters hand, things like that. the surprise on the viewers face always tickles me.

It is just interesting to me how spellbinding a simple drawing can be when it is in the process of being created- the mystery of "what is it", the magic of creating images on a flat surface, all seem to hold an undeniable fascination....

...apparently even when it is a bad line drawing of YMCA building and a bicycle (i used to struggle with the construction of a bicycle when i was young- so many bars going every direction!). But hey, what can you expect from a 9-year-old with a brown Marks-a-lot?

1 comment:

John Bryson said...

when you said.."...tickles me.." that was weird cause my mom always says that.
nice pics of the fat chicks smoking...there's nothing hotter than fat chicks that smoke!