I’m taking drawing lessons again!!! And I’m enjoying myself to bits and pieces! Have drawn countless faces yesterday and this morning…it’s addictive to see the expressions grow under my fingertips. I used to hate working with charcoal, but it’s grown on me. I think it’s one of my favorite materials at this moment…it allows you to “sculpt” lines and shades…it allows you to dive into it with hands and feet and allows for such a direct contact between you and the paper. A serious case of ‘flow’ going on when I sit down with my superduperly ridiculously cheap charcoals and tacky paper.

Charcoal pushes you to let go. Because contrary to pencil and pens, it doesn’t allow you to work precisely with it. You want a line somewhere…and charcoal says:”Whoa, hold on, missy! You ain’t deciding how I lay down the lines! I have something to say here too! There ain’t no neat line coming here on the paper…I’m gonna break and twist a little bit and give you a wobbly line; thick, thin, rickety….” And you go all frustrated with that at the beginning, because this frickin’ piece of burnt wood doesn’t do as you say! Where has your control gone? But just as you are about to tear your sketch with the failed line to pieces, you see that the rickety and wobbly line adds just that much more to the face you were drawing. All of a sudden an emotion is there…a thought…pieces of the person you were drawing are coming to life. So away with control…and you start allowing the charcoal what it’s supposed to do…draw unprecise lines, smudge, crush….and all the unintended movements of the charcoal turn into traits of a personality.

It’s SO fascinating!