Something from Nothing: Covid Studio

How to refresh a course: start withi a global pandemic. Add a teacher who likes to problem solve, and 16 williing students.

Negative space or, Drawing What you don’t see.

The biggest problem with learningi to see is with our heads not with our hands. The fact that we can write letterforms that are legible means we have plenty of “talent” available to render accurately.

With things like hands, feet and, alas, trees is that we are so used to drawing them as a symbol rather than as observed natural phenemona that we just can’t get past our IDEA of the thing. We can’t see the path for the (neural) pathways.

For me–an artist and teacher and a human benig, the most essential characteristic for creative growth and ensured vitality is the ability to see accurately. When we shortcut seeing for what we (think we) “know” to be true, we violate the dynamic and complicated truth of what is in front of us. In this way the lesson of looking can be very literal (how do I see THIS tree before me without burdoning it with previous ideas) and metaphorical (how do I see THIS circumstsance before me without iinsertinig previous prejudices).

A solution is to draw NOT the tree, but the unoccupied space between the branches of the trees. It was fun to demonstrate this for students in video form, and I was surprised at their elegant results.

Drawings from Visual Thinking students, Fall 2020

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