Back to Drawing Room


October 1st / online

October 7th / ECUAD Library
Drawing Room :: doodle, sketch and join drawing conversations 

INKtober - get ready for the month of drawing every day


Learn more about inks  here

V. Sager

STYLE


June 3, 2021
Drawing in Style

Style is an easy way of saying complicated things.
- Jean Cocteau


PDF presentation Drawing in Style 


Lisa Nolan - imaginary landscape during 2 hours of conversations

Most artists are desperately searching for personal style, despite its limitations.

True (historic) style involves more than resemblance or sequence of similar artefacts. It requires everything to be converted under the paradigm. This way (ex. Gothic) style incorporates architecture, philosophy, religion, art, design and everything else which follows the idea of the Gothic criterion.  

Lisa Nolan & Vjeko Sager - overlapping doodle conversatons

Therefore, it is impossible to have style in only one medium, like painting. Despite the paradox, most artists follow a mannerism, which is nowadays described as “style”.


Vjeko Sager - notations

V. Sager



MIND & SKY


May 20, 2021
Anatomy of Clouds

One must always draw, draw with the eyes, when one cannot draw with a pencil.
― Balthus


PDF presentation Anatomy of Clouds

Clouds are everywhere, in the sky, in the mind, artificial or real.. light, airy, dark or furious, they surround us with their permanent impermanence, continuously altering our living conditions. Often we remain blind to their presence, as we usually look onto the ground...and only when we take a photo of the skies, we become aware of their presence.

Fred Nenninger / charcoal pn paper

This session inspired a conversation about skies, clouds, colour, tone... and many more...allowing participants to share their creative experiences and various drawing techniques and methods. 

Fred Nenninger / crayons on grey paper

After exploring this topic, most of us will stop looking into the ground and start watching the ever changing landscape above our heads.
 

Vjeko Sager / pastels on paper

V. Sager



WHY DRAW


May 6, 2021
“None of them knew how to draw because their teachers didn’t know how to draw. That’s the basis of it. You now have people who are more interested in conceptual art – which is actually what you do if you can’t draw… I don’t go into open studios for young artists any more because I lose the will to live… There’s no passion and no originality.”
- sculptor Michaels Sandle 
(read full article in The Guardian)

Drawing has its ups and downs, depending on the spirit of times. Sometimes, it is highly regarded as an independent medium and in the next moment it is completely marginalized and pushed away in the background. This is not a strange occurrence, since drawing historically used to fluctuate in between “sketch” (preparation for an artwork) and “illustration” (narrative or descriptive drawing).


First of all, there is a general misunderstanding what drawing is about. Term to “draw” means to pull, move, get closer and in touch with the world. By drawing ourself closer, we start noticing what is otherwise imperceivable or remains unnoticed. To draw means to see beyond perception, to notice nuances and relevant details. Drawing form observation provides us with opportunity to test our endurance, patience and dedication to learning. To draw something means to gain understanding and remember it. In fact, everything we draw becomes in some way a part of us and our experience. This is the first lesson drawing offers to those who are brave enough to pursue unforeseeable directions of creativity.

Next lesson comes from visual culture which deals with image-making strategies. Images are either constructed from perception (observation, study) or from imagination (doodle, abstract). Traditionally, drawing has been associated with observation and studying of objects (still life) or human figure (mythology, narrative). However, a great number of images include both perception and imagination, resulting in fantasy and artistic stylization. Drawing provides us with a unique possibility to record subconscious and mental imagery, to visualize dreams, emotions and instinctive gestures. This means drawing has capacity to handle every image-making concept and method, regardless its origin.



The most frequent reason to avoid drawing are poor drawing skills. This is true and reasonable drawback for everyone who ever tried to make a line on paper. However, best drawings do not rely on skills, but on sincerity. According to Leonardo Da Vinci, most people are unable to draw a sincere line on paper and this is the main reason why they avoid drawing. According to a Master, skills could be attained and developed over time, but sincerity cannot.

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.
― Leonardo da Vinci  


V. Sager



CHILL & DRAW


April 6, 2021
You are invited to join SUMMER SESSIONS to draw & chat together. These informal gatherings are opportunity to keep your drawing & creative skills alive. Bring your drawings for feedback, ask questions and share your ideas. Talk about various subjects such as creative process, artistic inspiration,  philosophy of life, music, art, history, drawing techniques & materials... and many more.

Relax, draw and participate. 


Drawing Room CHILLOUT SESSIONS every second week.

V. Sager




Feed:bacK


April 22, 2021
Ungoogleable is something that cannot be "googled" – i.e. it cannot be found using the Google search engine.


Google is programmed to bring “relevant information” to masses. If you search for “drawing”, Google will retrieve all sort of things except a genuine drawing.

Drawing from photographs

Drawing is in opposition to photography. However, most people use photography as a main source of inspiration, forgetting that photography is a “negative blink”, or a snapshot made out of reflected light/photons.

On the other side, drawing provides us with ability to perceive our imagination and retrieve images form memory. These images are not photographic, but distorted and fragmented. For this reason, style is a difference between (photo-based) reality and artistic expression. In other words, art is interpretation, not a description of reality.

In other words, those who use photography as a reference and inspiration, must feel distant from art and intimate with Google.


Keeping Basics Alive

Due to impatience and curiosity, we intend to quickly abandon basics.  However, fundamentals are indispensable component of every visual expression, including drawing. For a musician, it is crucial to practice “scales” and for visual artist, it is essential to draw variety of tonal values. Every dot, line and plane reflect our understanding of basics and there is no shortcuts to produce a masterpiece, without regular practice of elements.


V. Sager



Reverse Creativity


April 8, 2021

“Life is lived forwards, but understood backwards.”- Soren Kierkegaard

ytivitaerC

The session was dedicated to explore many aspects of creativity by taking the journey backwards, as only when we reflect, we may understand the present.

Cubist-like conversations

Drawing Room’s participants are the most valuable aspect of this project, as they come from different backgrounds and are interested and willing to share their perspectives on drawing. Diversity of thinking makes conversations vibrant and unpredictable, same as the act of drawing. Unique viewpoints generate multifaceted discussions, similar to cubists’ attempt to draw an object using different points of view.

Poesis Llies work form the session

Drawing & dialogue

Conversation on reverse creativity started with Martin’s comment on division among skills-techniques-creation, stating that learned skills maintain and allow continuous creativity. In other words, practice supports creative process, similar to a “creative muscle” which needs to be maintained through exercises.

Fred introduced term “system” as a connection among elements (throughout the Universe) which produce creative force in every given moment. In other words, understanding relationships among all things provides inspiration and nurtures creativity at any given time in historic terms. In some way, systems generate stylistic preferences, based on our knowledge and believes.

Poesis brought a theme of inherent creativity, as we are all “born creative”. In this sense, creativity could be only stimulated, not learned.

Maria pointed out to a double-sided influence of internet, which behaves as a poison or “pharmakon” (Greek for drug), depending on a dosage. Martin confirmed the internet is like a Pandora’s box, often delivering manipulated content, which cannot be taken for granted. He pointed out to students’ unwary habits of using Google for inspiration, which produces calculated results instead genuine knowledge. He highlighted the importance of book as an edited & curated knowledge-resource.

Conversation touched on different creative issues, such as “when to stop making art”, “how to alter tools to provide best expression of the idea” and continued by sharing personal creative examples and discussing history of arts, psychology, philosophy, science, crafts and many other aspects of creativity.

V. Sager





Memory Drawing


March 25, 2021

Mnemosyne  


Mnemosyne, a mother of nine Muses, remains the most important link between thinking and drawing. 
The ancient Greeks, to whom a trained memory was of vital importance (as it was to everyone before the invention of printing) created an elaborate memory system, based on a technique of impressing 'places' and 'images' on the mind. 


Vjeko Sager : memory sketch

In order to train the eye to see and mind to remember, we started with “eye tracking” exercises.


Fred Nenninger : eye-tracking drawing

We continued to train our memory by copying the photos and remembering the images.


Caitlin Roberts : memory drawing

Mapping the walk form memory and discussing many aspects which define memory and drawing.


Mapping form memory

Drawing heavily depends on memory, as our skills are in direct connection with training and practice. Hand, eye and mind need memory as a guide to control and create marks on paper which consequentially produce an image we call drawing.

V. Sager


Dance + Drawing


March 11, 2021
Special Event hosting Danielle Basterville and Michael Marye


Drawing Room is thankful to Danielle and Michael for sharing their artistic talents at the Special Event on March 11th, 2021. Participants had an opportunity to explore unique fusion between dance and drawing.



Audrey Aday

Dot. Line. Plane.
Elements of art follow every occasion and every medium, constantly reminding us of the importance of the fundamentals. Both dance and drawing start with a dot, which moves through space to make a line. Body connects lines, creating an image. Drawing follows.



Poesis Llies

Drawing and Dance
Every movement is a new word…which we tried to decode…and capture on paper. Bodies in space don’t recognize limitations of two-dimensional surface. Flatness of the paper turns to be the greatest adversary, not allowing line to dance. At that moment, I recognized the power of technology and made my drawing dance, moving it under the lens of the camera.



Audrey Aday

Every participant perceived a different sensation and everyone responded differently, from large Paula’s action-drawing, delicate Audrey’s mark-making, intriguing Fred’s creatures and Poesis’s dancing architecture.



Poesis Llies

Danielle and Michael provided us with fascinating interactions, only known to dancers. While mirroring each other, their gestures still reflected their personal signatures. They interpreted a Paul Klee’s drawing, bringing to life his famous saying “drawing is taking a line for a walk”. Nothing is closer to the notion of pure art than a feeling of total immersion, deep reflection and memory of things which reminds us of what we should strive to become.

Further reading
Cissie brought to our attention Erin Manning's concept of technogenesis in her “Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy”, where this dancer-philosopher directs our attention from the source or the subject of movement to the ecological conditions of co-movement...and so the movement of hands and instruments across paper, with the movement of bodies in space but also on and off floors, come together as one singular set of generative material gestures across each of our suspended but embodied virtual spaces.  LINK 

V. Sager




Anatomy of Things


February 25, 2021

- Conversations about Ideas, Media and Matter

Anatomy of Things
Session was dedicated to explore the notion of the “Form” in relationship to the “Idea” (Greek for “form”). Ideas existed independent of reality and according to Plato, they were the ultimate “ideals”, or true existence. Once we engage in translating ideas into reality, we encounter a series of obstacles and possibilities which guide and influence the result, i.e. realization of the idea.

From idea into matter
Most prominent elements in the process of interpreting ideas are intention, medium of our choice, time (presence) and our ability to engage (skills).


Fred Nenninger : Seeing Forms in Randomness

Innocence
Intention is often concealed or expressed as a word. We employed term “innocence” to test and explore the importance of drawing objective. The exercise produced abstract sketches which confirmed both authority and freedom of using words to communicate meanings.


V. Sager :  Annotations

Time

The element of time is one of the most neglected factors in the process of making art. Most people measure time with the clock, which is an authoritarian and unnatural convention, resulting in quantity instead quality of engagement.

Time is also experienced differently, starting with Buddhists’ spiritual proclamation “here & now” (in reference to eternity), to expressing a physical duration of event, i.e. western notion of “time is money”, which caused one of the greatest misunderstanding of art and creativity, measuring time with minutes and hours.

Time is reflected as the amount of Presence, in a sense of deep and absolute devotion. Presence (in Buddhist philosophy) is decisive in conveying the quality of the idea from mental to perceptive dimension. Duration (western notion of labour and skills) reflects the passage of time regardless the presence. These complimentary perceptions of time generated unbridgeable gaps in historic terms, dividing further all other properties.


Nicholas Conbere : Time and Form

Medium

Focusing on medium destroys art. If medium becomes a central point, then creativity is understood as a technical ability or skill. Ability to handle tools is most important, but cannot become a goal in itself. Unfortunately, skills are often regarded as a final objective, producing a “perfectly-boring” craftsmanship. Internet turned to be the most evident depository of skill-driven creativity.


Martin Walker: Form, Colour & Space

Matter

According to Michelangelo, matter is as well inspiration for creativity, a source of ideas which need to be revealed with artist’s ability to “hold a hammer”. Interaction with matter creates a reverse engineering (a.k.a. inverse creativity), starting with materials and ending with the idea. The notion of “art as matter” has been exploited in western culture starting with Duchamp’s “readymades” and consequentially influencing market-driven art scene.

On the contrary, Buddhists’ meditations are painstakingly turned into sand-mandalas and thrown away when finished. Again, disparities in understanding material world cast different value systems in creating monetary or spiritual richness.

Conclusion

History evolved through philosophy. From the notion of the “idea” as the ultimate goal, to a concept which declares that “form follows function” (a.k.a. material) the relationship in between idea, medium and matter continues shaping our minds and creativity. Drawing is always at the centre of events and it remains the ONLY connection among disparities.

V. Sager






V. Sager : compressed void
charcoal on paper 2015


INTERdisciplinary 

Drawing Room Feb. 11, 2021 


Leonardo da Vinci : methods of keeping the sketchbook


Curiositá: exploring reality, searching for continuous learning.

Dimostrazione: comparing knowledge and experience, learning from mistakes.

Sensazione: keeping your senses wide awake so you can live the experiences.

Sfumato: embracing ambiguity, paradoxical statements, and doubts.

Arte/scienza: keeping the balance between common sense and imagination, between art and science, between logic and absurd.

Corporalitá: keeping the balance between the body and the mind.

Connessione: acknowledging and appreciating the connectivity among all kinds of things.

Drawing exposes bad things in people. - Leonardo



Divide and lose


Over the centuries, drawing has been divided in between disegno interno which follows the internal stimuli (hand guided by imagination) and disegno esterno which follows the model of drawing from observation (hand guided by perception).


Albrecht Durer - perspective lesson 

This polarization (still) affects all those who make division among ideas and skills, culminating on social platforms (YouTube, Instagram), where disegno esterno manifest itself via skills, or ability to render realistically. This methods is preferred by a large groups of users, as inartistic folks get easily fascinated with someone’s ability to render things “as they are”.

On the other side, drawing which reflects conceptual engagement, may be left unnoticed or ignored by the majority, simply because masses are easily fascinated by external stimuli. To be precise, concepts involve different kind of engagement, often unnoticed by those who search for external visual pleasures.

Wassily Kandinsky - Original pen and ink drawing

Some artists merge and combine both methods, generating an array of amalgamations which consequentially give a rise to stylistic questions, further splitting drawing into smaller and narrower corridors of disciplinary thinking. It is possible to say that disciplinary thinking divided two major streams (internal & external ) into a maze of sub-stylistic fashions, which became diluted to the point of losing the entire notion of drawing.


Robert Rauschenberg Erased de Kooning Drawing-1953
Traces of ink and crayon on paper, with mat and hand-lettered label in ink, in gold-leafed frame

In other words, divisions steer knowledge into disintegration which defragments the entire system of meanings, leaving us speechless and bewildered in front of a genuine line on paper.

V. Sager



V. Sager compressed void charcoal on paper 2016



INTERdisciplinary  Drawing

Feb. 11, 2021

Fernando Pessoa

- The Complete Works of Alberto Caeiro

poem #24

What we see of things are the things themselves.
Why would we see one thing if there were another?
Why would seeing and hearing be an illusion
If seeing and hearing are just seeing and hearing?

The essential thing is knowing how to see,
Knowing how to see without thinking,
Knowing how to see when you see,
And not thinking when you see
Nor seeing when you think.

But this (alas for those of us whose soul wears clothes!),
This requires long study,
An apprenticeship in unlearning
And a solitude within the freedom of that convent
Of which the poets say the stars are its eternal nuns
And the flowers devout penitents for a single day,
But where, after all, the stars are just stars
And the flowers are just flowers,
Which is why we see them as stars and flowers.

The Keeper of Sheep

INTERdisciplinary  Drawing                 

Learning form the Master


Leonardo da Vinci : Notebooks

Curiositá: exploring reality, searching for continuous learning.

Dimostrazione: comparing knowledge and experience, learning from mistakes.

Sensazione: keeping your senses wide awake so you can live the experiences.

Sfumato: embracing ambiguity, paradoxical statements, and doubts.

Arte/scienza: keeping the balance between common sense and imagination, between art and science, between logic and absurd.

Corporalitá: keeping the balance between the body and the mind.

Connessione: acknowledging and appreciating the connectivity among all kinds of things.


“Drawing exposes bad things in people.” - Leonardo



Thoughts on Composition

January 28, 2021

Drawing Room  


Picture plane is a space in between inner and outer worlds, imagination and reality. It permanently re:negotiates the position and role of the author, allowing ideas to emerge through organization and arrangement.

Compositional frame allows (invites) objects and subjects to appear in infinite number of ways, generating unlimited meanings. To compose, means to “com-position”, to tell the story and bring the expressiveness and significane out. No other visual element has more rules and regulations and at the same time, nothing ever allowed greater sense of freedom in breaking those rules, than composing.



Drawing + philosophy

Drawing Manifest


To draw means to perceive hidden relationships among things.

Absolute and unconditional presence.

Hyper-presence. Beyond focus. Timeless. Zone.

Playful and responsive. Lose and win without losing or winning.

Vulnerabilty of permanent beginnings.

Mistakes turned into resolutions.

Fear. Encountered. Turned into inspiration. 

Refusing current issues. Abandoning deceptions and false perceptions.

Concept-less. Without goal or purpose. Worship the useless and impossible.

Enbace intimacy. Reject the ego.  

Uncover the hidden truth. See the unprecedented and unforeseen links and connections.

Beyond senses, beyond knowledge.

V.Sager




The Hand of God (detail), c. 1511. Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564). Red chalk; 29.6 x 19.5 cm. Teylers Museum, purchased in 1790. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem


The Space between

Drawing exists in between thought and event of making a mark. It depends on, but at the same time rejects both, reasoning and skills. As every unfinished business, drawing exists in limbo, hanging over the abyss of fear. This way drawing remains anticipation and intention at the same time, never fulfilling or confirming its status. This is the reason why some regard drawing as a secondary medium, or a mere step towards something else.

However, this position allows drawing to take the advantage of non belonging to any particular domain and turn it into a weapon to penetrate into every discipline. The space in between is the space of unexploited potential.

The most powerful sensation while drawing is a suspension in between hand and surface...the void filled with anticipation to make a mark.

This space has been masterfully depicted in the Creation of Adam, where Michelangelo left God’s and Adam’s fingers lingering in eternal deferment. The absence of contact keeps intentions, desires, hopes and fears in permanent interplay in between possible and impossible, until we make a final decision to touch and discharge only one (possible) mark.

V. Sager




















Drawing Room 2021
design by Vjeko Sager