Drawing as painkiller

Splice #10

Drawing is the only way to survive long, boring meetings. For many years, I had a day job that paid the rent but was peppered with long, boring meetings. These were particularly awful because the individual running them used them as personal ego candy, showing everyone how superior he is and, in some instances, humiliating his subordinates. Drawing or, as some would characterize it, “doodling” was my only pain-killer. Now, I dislike the word “doodling,” in part because when I was a child and made drawings, I would be admonished for doodling, in part because, back then, drawing was characterized as a “waste of time” and in part because it was viewed with horror (“what if this kid ends up being an artist and embarrasses us all?”). Drawing meant that I wasn’t “buckling down” and studying the way good children do. These days, I consider a doodle to be a drawing without advance thinking. You just start with a line or maybe even a coffee stain on a piece of paper and make something out of it. I don’t run into too many coffee stains these days. So, when I want to do a doodle, I just splash some watercolor on a piece of good paper and swish it around sort of randomly with a sea sponge or I rub some pastel on a chamois and rub that on the paper to make a swirling shape. Then, I start drawing on the resultant mess with ink to see what I can make of it. The drawing above resulted from the pastel and chamois technique. I am pleased to say that I no long have to attend long, boring meetings, run by a nasty individual. But, I still doodle on occasion. It is challenging to make something out of nothing. And, the results, as you can see, are occasionally really weird.


About mmgilbert

I have been drawing and painting all my life. Now part of the “New Symbolist” movement which encompasses both Goth, fantasy and tattoo art as well as the century-old work of Odilon Redon, I focus on archetypal and mythic imagery to evoke emotional themes and to reference darker fantasies. I have an abiding interest in figurative drawing, working on paper and exploring new ways to handle traditional materials. I studied with Edward Millman, a WPA muralist; at Purchase College; and at the Art Students League in New York.
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