I have always believed that drawing is at the core of every creative practice, no matter what discipline, scope or technique. Drawing is a way of setting one's intention and clearing the path for the next step. It creates a kind of opening from which we enter into a new understanding, a new way of seeing and processing information. It's a way of connecting to our experience and in a state of awareness, consciously carving a direction, an idea, whatever it is we must discover at that moment. And from that, we go into the studio and make something, develop in greater depth a theory, a vision, a feeling.
It was a pleasure to watch dancers draw, as I led a drawing workshop for a Dance Composition class at the Boston Conservatory. They immediately picked up the chalk and translated an adjective, a descriptive prompt, and expressed a creative gesture that was intuitive and self-aware. They moved fluidly and worked to understand the right moment to stop. I was impressed by how they didn't think too much about it, they just did it, and learned through the practice.
Watching the dancers create movement from their drawing compositions was a new experience for me. It was delightful to step outside of my own domain, offer a few tools and ideas, provide space for exploration, and then experience a new form unfold. I learned from them just as they learned from me. And from this shared experience new ideas form, and I go back into my own practice and explore again.
I think drawing is at the fundamental essence of every art practice. In one way or another we draw, delegating a new path, striking a new rhythm, and making our mark felt. Drawing with the paths we choose everyday, drawing in our arrangements, these details are incredibly important.
It is the bareness of drawing that I like. The act of drawing is what locates, suggests, discovers. At times it seems enough to draw, without the distractions of color and mass. Yet it is an old ambition to make drawing and painting one. -Philip Guston