To be candid, I find it difficult to identify with a singular method of art-making. It’s easiest to explain my processes as “mixed-media sculpture,” but even then I feel that that barely begins to scratch the surface. I love to draw. I love to sculpt. Drawing helps me to see, sculpture helps me to understand.
Upon someone learning that I am an artist, it tends to be assumed that I must be a painter (?! mad respect to all painters, but this assumption always bewilders me). My response to this is the explain that I do not paint or draw objects, but instead that I draw or paint ON my objects.
Over the years, drawing and illustration have become a major component of my studio work. This has been very surprising to me, as I’ve never really gravitated towards working “flat.” Drawing was always a preliminary thing to help sort out ideas, but was never the final result.
For past 4 years, I’ve taught drawing nearly every semester. Though the course is based on drawing from observation (rather than memory/imagination), I feel a great deal of connection to the curriculum. It’s problem solving. It’s learning how to see. It’s learning to push through the challenge. Even as a sculptor, it’s one of my favorite courses to teach. And by teaching it, I think that this has reconnected me to the medium.
Within my own work, the drawing methods that I am employ are also broad. The best purchases of the past year has been an Intuos5 by Wacom… and a heat gun. Obviously, these are not used together. 🙂
My mixed-media drawings use a combination of Caran D’Ache NeoColours II and Prismacolor ArtStix. The colors are blended with heat, friction (blending stumps, tortillions, scrubber brushes), and/or solvents (such as mineral spirits). The development of this process has been very enjoyable. Leave it to a sculptor to find a way to bring a tool into the drawing process. 🙂
Digital drawing is also intriguing to me. In graduate school, I began to screen print layers of imagery with enamels onto glass. The easiest way to get the images how I wanted them was to draw them digitally before making my transparencies (rather than scan them in, clean everything up, and then print onto the transparency). I started out using a Wacom Bamboo tablet (around $90) and within a few weeks of using it, everyone around me had one, too. (If you’re interested in learning how to draw with a tablet, I highly recommend the Wacom Bamboo.)
I like to use digital drawing as a planning aid. And omg do I love the “Control + Z” feature. 😉 Being able to shift and change my colors/proportions very quickly has been instrumental in determining how to proceed within a project.