Spontaneous drawing

  • The Origins of writing
    Spontaneous drawing is a natural human expression, from earliest infancy and in all cultures. Our first steps take the form of scribbles as we express our burgeoning desire to live. People belittle this: a dictionary definition of scribbling is "not knowing how to draw", whilst it, in fact, represents the very beginnings of writing.
  • The fear of doing it wrong
    Children soon start to use spontaneous drawing to tell themselves stories. These are a metaphor for their life experiences. I have noticed that this stage of drawing turns into increasingly repetitive stereotyped images. Children no longer dare to express themselves freely. It is generally thought that spontaneous drawing disappears around the age of 7 or 8. In fact, the first signs of the killing-off of this inner voice begin around the age of 5. A fear of doing it wrong takes hold; potential ability is snuffed out.
  • You don't need a licence to be reborn
    Spontaneous drawing survives on the margins of exercise books or the scribbles we make whilst on the telephone. This basic desire to express oneself is called "the graphic instinct". It never dies and can be reactivated with specific "autopictographic" exercises. Spontaneous drawing came of age in 1904 with Kandinsky (1866-1944), Alechinsky (1927) and Basquiat, (1960-1988). These graphic universes emerged and were absorbed into mainstream art....But you don't have to be a professional artist to have the right to create. You don't have to be a top chef to enjoy cooking. Spontaneous drawing doesn't require a licence to draw a line. We have our own well of images inside us which can be re-activated. But how? To draw spontaneously is not simply a question of making a decision and then acting upon it, like deciding to get up and walk. We need a practical method, offering suggestions and advice to allow us to overcome the anxiety of the blank page.
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