I just needed to draw

A month ago today, I was at an art workshop, messing around with stuff that I don’t normally do, trying out all sorts of grown-up things like… charcoal! watercolours! ink! It was wonderful – not that I created wonderful stuff (I’m so clueless about this stuff, I won’t even call myself a beginner) but the feeling was… it’s hard to describe it, it’s something so deep in the guts…

Here’s what I wrote about it today, after I did my drawings and also wrote a sort of poem, which also required that tangibleness – pen on paper, not keyboard. (Yes, I’ll tell you about the drawings in a minute, but first, read this thing that I wrote about it.)

Touching
pen to paper
pencil, crayon, things

Stuff happens.

Don’t ask me how.

Like I said, I wrote this today after I did some drawing. Which may sound like I do drawing every day, or most days, but no, I don’t. Drawing isn’t something I do. But today I found this really deep need within me. I felt a deep longing for something and asked myself what and my self replied with a twitching of the fingers, and a sense of needing to draw with something tangible, to hold a pencil and press it against paper, to make real marks on real paper.

It’s not that I don’t love doing the digital art that I do – it’s just different.

I rummaged around and found this black pencil and fine black marker pen that came with a book I bought ages ago which is supposed to help you learn to draw if you’re clueless. (I remember doing some of the exercises and really really enjoying them. Long time ago though. Haven’t touched that book in years.) I sat looking at the blank paper and had no idea what I wanted to draw, I just knew I really needed to touch that pencil to the paper and make marks.

At first I did just that. I followed the shadow of my hand across the paper and drew that shape again and again. That felt good, but then…

I took another sheet of paper and started writing on it what I was feeling: I just need to draw something. Then I doodled a bit – starting with small circles and then moving to bigger and less tame circles, and then, for no explicable reason but just because that’s what I felt like doing, I added that box thing in the corner, gave it a speech bubble but couldn’t hear what it was saying so I left it wordless. I was beginning to feel a strange kind of happiness.

I just need to draw something

Then I took another sheet of paper and without thinking I did what that artist told us to do at that workshop: look at what you did spontaneously, pick the thing out of that that you particularly like, and develop it. (It was only later I realised that that’s what happened there.)

I drew that box thing, and then another one, and slowly added another thing and another thing (at this stage I was using the marker and not the pencil – I wanted sharper lines) and then I looked at it and felt: yes! I can do this! and went out shopping for more art materials because if I’m going to get these urges then I need to do something with them.

This is what I drew. It’s no masterpiece, but I’m happy with it. I think it’s not bad for a klutz :)

my drawing

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