Join us first on the Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m.
Contributed by Cathy Walls.
Some people like to draw. They draw every day. Others would like to draw, but they’re not sure if they can. They’re thinking about it though. Maybe you’re one of those people, thinking about drawing but not sure where to start. Let’s start with: Why draw?
Historically, drawing was the only form of communication between humans. These drawings have been found on the walls of caves, tombs and houses, pots, urns . . . etc. But now, with the efficiency of oral and written language, why draw?
Drawing is actually good for your brain. And you don’t have to be an “artists”. The right hemisphere of our brain is responsible for creativity and imagination. The left hemisphere is involved in logical tasks. As we draw, both hemispheres work simultaneously, expanding the capacity of our brain cells. Yep, drawing actually adds synapses to the brain’s transmitters. Memories and experiences reserved in your brain become stronger, more striking, and more accessible. (Doodlers at office meetings know what I mean). Bonus: drawing produces positive brain chemistry like Serotonin, Endorphins, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine.
As you are drawing you need to focus on one object. That helps improve your powers of observation and concentration. Leonardo da Vinci said, “Painting embraces all the ten functions of the eyes, that is to say, darkness, light, body and color, shape and location, distance and closeness, motion and rest.”
And that brings us to figure sketching. Why is sketching the human body a good place to start and a good source of practice?
You can sit at home and sketch solid objects like soda cans and old shoes, but they lack the variety of line and shape that the arms, legs and torsos of humans offer. The bend of a knee, the shadow cast by an outstretched arm, the twisting of a turning body are better at teaching us which lines are important and how to sketch in proportion. As humans, sketching the human form is another way of connecting and being human. Simply put, when drawing, we find the human form more interesting.
But try and get someone in your house to sit still for even five minutes so you can practice your sketching. That’s where the Mispillion Art League comes in. The first Thursday of every month from 6:30 to 8 p.m., we bring a clothed model into the gallery to pose for whoever drops in with their sketch materials. There’s no pre-registration, no fancy supplies needed and it’s free. (Although a small donation is suggested to thank the model for their patience.)
So why draw? BECAUSE IT’S FUN! Getting together to draw with a group of sketchy people is fun even if you don’t want to stick your work on your fridge. It is a great way of unwinding, getting lost in your pencil and paper and learning from each other in a safe, non-judgmental community of non-artists and artists alike.
You don’t have to be Van Gogh or Pablo Picasso. All you need is paper and a pencil or pen. Come on in and join us. Sketch, unwrap yourself, stimulate your brain cells, and make yourself feel better, have fun!