Why we Draw

There are so many reasons for drawing.  First and foremost, it’s fun.  I’ve just come from a drawing session at a nearby coffee shop with one of my drawing classes.  For most of them it was the first time drawing in a public place.   It’s really fun to move students out of the classroom into the world and see them all take away new views of their environment.  There has been much written about the sense of discovery that drawing brings.  One of my favorite passages  is from Danny Gregory’s book, “The Creative License.”  This was written by his late wife, Patti Lynn Gregory, and its appropriately titled, Some Wisdom from my Wife:

They say that when someone is sick and dying, with a heightened awareness that their days are numbered and few, they develop a new appreciation of little things.  Things intensify and become special and precious.  That view out the window, that snowflake, that conversation, that kiss – each one could be your last.

The trick is to incorporate this perspective into your healthy – though challenging – life.  Drawing does that; you pay attention in a way you normally wouldn’t.  Focus repels the distractions that muddle the experience.  Every line, page, brick, unit of the thing you draw becomes essential.  You’re looking to catch each construction of the object and therefore realize the beauty of its balance, the necessity of each small part.  You look and examine that thing with love.  You desire to recognize every part to capture it in your drawing.  You can feel security about your subject and at peace with recognizing the value of every little thing and moment in your life.

This is so true.  Whether you’re drawing  a handful of buttons, or a grand mountain view, the process of looking and valuing the scene before you makes you keenly aware of details you’ve probably never seen before.  It’s impossible to take the world for granted when you draw.  Just one of the many reasons why I love to draw.




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