Saturday, May 17, 2014

Invention versus Observation and the Role of Memory

This graph dedicated to Nicholas Ward.  His documentary film project on community mural making has taken years to complete.  Good news is that he is almost finished!  We will keep you posted


Artist Approach: Invention and Observation
Artist are always trying to unlock the mysteries behind what makes a good draftsman. Drawing books often linger on subjects of value or line quality. However, good drawing is a long process that starts when we are children and is slowly developed through critical thinking, observation, and experiment.  Kindergartners are inventive and use amplification, distortion, and symbols, while older kids strive for realism and rules. For mature artists, the role of memory is utilized,  using a combination of invention and sensitive observation. Memory tends to recall the simplest structures, while exaggerating characteristics.  We memorize things as brighter, bigger, or uglier than they actually are.

Edgar Degas wrote about his approach:   " It is very well to copy what one sees.  It is much better to draw what one has retained in one's memory.  It is a transformation in which imagination collaborates with memory.  It reproduces only what is striking, that is to say, necessary. Thus, one's recollections are liberated from the tyranny that nature exerts.

Congratulations to all of the graduates!  Here we see artist Brian Hawkins with his cap and gown.

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