Thursday, October 8, 2015


Early in my teaching career I was the art teacher in a couple of elementary schools dealing with children from kindergarten to middle school. I'd often admire the the kids' simple drawings and wonder if I would be able to produce something as charming without actually copying. At the time I was not drawing "seriously" so let the idea go and forgot about it until recently. 

Now I draw almost every day and sometimes think about those young children's drawings and try to  use those memories to prompt my imagination.  I loosen up and start drawing without any real direction. I'll start with just a few marks, shapes or more likely a simple idea like "Home" or "Dance" and let the piece grow as I go along. Unlike the the ink "doodles" I wrote about a few weeks ago, I don't refine the work but try to maintain that childish quality until I've filled the paper. 

With the current popular interest in "Outsider Art" I see some producing purposefully naive work, trying to look as if they were unschooled. I'd rather use what I learn from kids to produce something sophisticated but with the simple power of a child's work. We'll continue this discussion next week.

A note here: I had to enhance these two drawings using Photoshop because the originals were too light and delicate to show up well here in Blogger. Sorry 'bout that!

"Fantasy is one of life's brighter porcelains."   Pat Conroy

"Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness."   Allen Ginsberg

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