GESTURE DRAWING – GESTURE WRITING…..Let it all hang out!
Recently I came across a delightful piece in “The New York Times” by Rachel Howard entitled “Gesture Writing.” As Rachel so aptly describes, any of us who have ever taken a figure drawing class have experienced gesture drawing. As a teacher of painting, who uses the live model more often than not, and as an expressionistic painter, I continually hear myself stressing the “gesture,” the “attitude,” the “personality,” the “thrust of the hip,” or the “strength of the neck,” the “tilt of the head,” “where is her weight?” “which leg is she standing on?” “what is this figure ‘saying’?” “what makes her unique?” ”don’t just try to depict her….give me HER,” “find the ATTITUDE!” The “gesture” and the “attitude” are where the “action” is. The “action” is the life of the painting. Fill your paintings with life. As I sit here, dabbling with my blog…I now realize that I am gesture writing! I am sketching words. It is such fun to just grab the moment. The trick/gift of the artist/writer is to somehow know when that moment is THERE…in all of its directness and integrity….when just a few lines say it all ….and when even one more line will rob the energy and richness of the expression.
Thank you Rachel Howard, for pulling these thoughts together for us and enabling viewers and readers, who may never have seen the world through “gesture,” to get a glimpse, an understanding, and an appreciation of the “essential mark.”