Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why do observational drawings on-location?

Victor Allen's, Monroe Street

“It is in order to really see, to see ever deeper, ever more intensely, hence to be fully aware and alive, that I draw what the Chinese call ‘The Ten Thousand Things’ around me. Drawing is the discipline by which I constantly rediscover the world.

I have learned that what I have not drawn, I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extra-ordinary it is, sheer miracle.” Frederick Franck, The Zen of Seeing, 1973, as quoted in The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

Drawing helps us see the world, more deeply and accurately, with fewer misperceptions. Many artists claim to have never truly seen something until they sit down and draw it. Betty Edwards makes this argument in her famous book, The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. In it, Edwards, discusses drawing as a way to exercise the visual, perceptual functions of our brain. She emphasizes learning to perceive the relationships between edges, spaces, and shadows in order to understand the whole, or the gestalt. This allows artist, from beginners to experts, to draw things as they actually are rather than based on previous assumptions. In an age of deep social division and polarization, the ability to see the whole and to move beyond assumptions and labels is essential.

Draw: Madison is partially inspired by the UrbanSketchers blog. UrbanSketchers is an international group of artists who draw on location, telling the story of their surroundings one drawing at a time. We love the fun, informal nature of their drawing, and how they capture the artist’s perceptions of unique places and people.

We are fortunate to live in a city with so many beautiful public spaces to draw – from the Capital and Monona Terrace, to the lovely UW campus and luscious city parks. Since the weather got a bit chilly, we are checking out some nice, indoor, public spaces including the UW student unions, the Chazen Museum of Art, the Overture Center, and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Draw: Madison is a great way to experience these spaces in the company of other local artists and doodlers. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Drawing at the Overture Center, December 11, 2011

Join us this Sunday, December 11 at the Overture Center Lobby. This location has great views of State Street, interesting architecture, and plenty of seating. Bring your own materials and any drawing medium you prefer. We'll start at 1 pm.

Monday, December 5, 2011

On-location drawing throughout Madison

This is a blog for people who like to draw in Madison, WI. We meet at different locations around our beautiful capital city and draw, draw, draw. People of all experience levels are invited to join. Here's a quick sketch from a drawing session on Monroe Steet, near Trader Joe's.