Monday, December 14, 2009

Change of Scenery

I am the first to acknowledge that academia affords some incredible bonuses, one being the time to travel and recharge between semesters. Regardless of circumstance or geography, I think it's vital to see and work from new material as often as possible, activating the visual spark that keeps drawings vitalized. Is this all a rationalization for being on vacation? Nonetheless, I recommend the coral...

Happy holidays and enjoy the new year ahead!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Watercolor Disaster

No, not a studio tale of terror, but a link to a Australian film from 2005 that uses watercolor and drawing in a decidedly dark and therapeutic manner.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Global Drawing Feel-good Yummy Time

Hopefully you spent the day drawing with others who love it as much as you do! The SketchCrawl here in Columbia spanned four hours and three locations, with good will and fine lines, all in abundance (and leaves, lots and lots of leaves).

You can see highlights from the local tour here and be sure to click on to the next level up to see results from cities around the world.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Columbia SketchCrawl this Saturday

A local plug for a global phenomenon! If you are within reach of Columbia, South Carolina, please join us this Saturday, November 21, at 10:00 in front of the McKissick Musuem as we launch our first SketchCrawl. SketchCrawl is a network of simultaneous drawing events - people from 150+ cities assemble and draw together, then post the results to Go to their Forum section for the list of participating cities, and get your crawl on!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nikhil Chopra at the New Museum

Whilst enjoying your tea and scone in the cafe at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, you can also enjoy freshly-shorn piles of human hair, slowly decaying histories (and produce), and the artist Nikhil Chopra drawing high and low (and often in his underwear). "Memory Drawing IX" is a drawing performance that unites mark and theatre, chronicle and memory, allowing for viewers to physically enter the space of making (pictured, me, physically in the space of making).

From the NMCA press release: "Nikhil Chopra combines approaches associated with theater, portraiture, landscape drawing, photography, art actions, and installation to chronicle the world through live performance. As the Victorian draughtsman Yog Raj Chitrakar, Chopra haunts bustling market squares, forgotten old buildings, city streets, and museum galleries to make large-scale drawings. Within the performances, daily actions—washing, eating, drinking, sleeping, dressing, shaving, and observing—are transformed into ritualistic spectacle. While an ambiguous past collides with an unstable present, Yog Raj Chitrakar reveals the process of documenting what he sees while exploring self-portraiture, autobiography, history, fantasy, and sexuality."

More information about Chopra at the New Museum is here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Compass in Hand at the MoMA

Christian Rattemeyer introduces the exhibition "Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection." A stunning collection of work - do do do see it if you can, or the catalog is available from MoMA for $60 USD. Click below for video.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Quick Link to a Great Idea

This just in from Patrick Nugent, an inspiring union of drawing and digital projection.

Drawing Voyeurs Needed

From now until Friday, you can watch artist Stephen Wiltshire draw a 20' panorama of the New York City skyline while in residence at Pratt. Yeah, okay, you say - what's so interesting about that? Wiltshire carries a combination of autism and photographic memory - he does photorealistic renderings of cityscapes after seeing them for a short period of time. For this project, he was flown in a helicopter over NY for 20 minutes, enough time to lock the image in his mind, enabling him to render it in striking detail.

See the article and live webcast of the drawing-in-progress here.

Thanks, Jane!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Acquire FUKT

Well, it wouldn't be very polite to say 'Get' now, would it? Southern civility reigns. FUKT, the German contemporary drawing magazine, has just released its latest incarnation at the NY Art Book Fair earlier this month, and I gather that it is available at Printed Matter in Chelsea (yay for Printed Matter!!).

Featured artists include: Ante Timmermans, Charmaine Wheatley, Per Dybvig, Gert-Jan Akerboom, Heidi Linck, Jenny Mörtsell, Louise Hopkins, P. Nicolas Ledoux, Oskar Korsar, Stephen Marshall, Katja Eckert, Tina Jonsbu, William Powhida, and Björn Hegardt (ed).

See back issues and all other good info at

Friday, October 16, 2009

Prepare for SketchCrawl #25

Drawing communities are everywhere, and the web provides for instant visioning across the network. SketchCrawl is based in San Francisco, but has satellites around the world. For one day, every few months, members of the SketchCrawl network spend the day drawing, then post the evidence of time well-spent and a world well-seen. The groups range from couples to whole drawing mobs, and they are always looking for more members.

The next organized SketchCrawl day is November 21, 2009. If you are interested in joining up, go to their website to see if there is already a group forming in your town. If not, start one yourself - all instructions for doing so are on the FORUM section of their website:

Drawing, the Social Discipline.
PS - I've organized one for Columbia, SC - go to the sketchcrawl website for more info!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Perfect Circles

Snipe Hunts and Freehand Circle Drawing Competitions (held in Vegas, annually) are both of enduring intrigue. The first time I heard of Pope Julius' request of young Michelangelo, I dedicated myself to mastering this performance of grace, with spotty success at best. Tonight, wonder was rekindled in the form of finding dozens of perfect circle drawers on YouTube. Starting with a math teacher from Ottowa who posted his circle (perfect!) in 2007, we are once again making the very best use of time and technology. A full page of circle vids can be found here, and the one that started it all is below. Circle on.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Blog on Blog Action

I think I mentioned before that it feels incestuous to blog about blogs, or at the very least a bit too navel-gazey, but a few decent illustration-related blogs have come into view in the past days, and I must share. and (both by Paul Rivoche) (swap meet) (resources abound) (utterly and totally for fun)

There are enough links in the blogs above to keep one going for quite a nested run.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Resistance Drawing

I had the pleasure this week of being in a group drawing show with elin o'Hara slavick, an artist based out of UNC-Chapel Hill, whose series "Protesting Cartography" presents an expansive profile of the consequences of ongoing US military action at home and abroad. Slavick's artist talk further illumined the possibilities for drawing as a form of protest, be it quiet or screaming; many ideas from the talk can be found in the volume Bomb after Bomb, A Violent Cartography, which includes plates of her drawings, essays by Carol Mavor and Howard Zinn, and an in-depth interview with anthropolgist Catherine Lutz. Images of all the drawings can be seen here.

Working in a similar vein (and even a similar medium - gouache), artist Julie Weitz engages in terrorism-era social criticism via her abstract drawings of balaclavas. Reading the images of Weitz and slavick together offers a glimpse of powerful protest rendered through visually seductive drawings, both thoughtful aesthetic engagements with global issues.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy 10th Birthday, Big Draw!

This marks the 10th year for the Campaign for Drawing's month-long event known as the Big Draw. With over 1000 venues in play across the UK, the events encourage drawing as a part of daily creative practice. Drawing is defined in ways both generous and inclusive, and participation is welcome at all levels.

Full details and schedule are located here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Avidly Seeking Drawing Maxims???

A storehouse awaits at - one of 350+ categories of art quotations and observations maintained by Robert Genn, of the Painters Keys website. I have noticed some double attributions - could Balthus and Degas both have said, "One must always draw, draw with the eyes, when one cannot draw with a pencil"? For that matter, I say that at least once a semester, could I get some credit as well? But seriously, the Genn collection is exhaustive, and great for inducing a quick "ah!"

Genn also is the force behind a twice-weekly email that often hits the nail on the studio head - for archives and free subscription.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Drawing Conferences Abound!

In London, or plan to be there next week? Excellent. The Campaign for Drawing and the Drawing Research Network are co-hosting "Thinking Through Drawing," a one-day conference on October 8 featuring a series of talks by practitioners in the forefront of contemporary drawing. Please visit for full schedule and registration information.

And given that you're already in a conference mood, you will no doubt be wanting to also spend time at the Campaign for Drawing's international gathering, "Drawing for Learning, Engagement and Enjoyment". Held October 7 - 11, the conference schedule is packed with opportunities for discourse, pedagogy, and practice, including The Big Draw (longer post on TBD to follow).

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Writing on Drawing" Book Review on

So, yes, this review is a wee bit dated, but I was thrilled to come across, an art website based out of Nairobi. As a long-time adopted Capetonian, it was wonderful to see beyond the borders of ZA, and get a glimpse of Kenyan online art activity.

A book review of "Writing on Drawing" that weaves in the Kenyan perspective appears at:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Arkansas Art Center

If you're looking for a small but diverse collection of drawings online to use as a classroom reference or simply to flip through for personal pleasure, the Arkansas Art Center has a compact but well-presented online resource. Spanning the 17th through 20th centuries, it is an excellent survey of works on paper.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Show Your Work

This may be basic information for most, but I have had several students ask recently how to go about exhibiting their work. Here are some good (free) listings of exhibition opportunities.

College Art Association:

New York Foundation for the Arts:

Las Vegas Arts Commission:

Chicago Artists Resource:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Scaling Up the Dream Mark

This is short, as the demon pneumonia has my attention (hack), but I wanted to link to the work of Matt Woodward, recently featured on Woodward's scale is the one I am finding most intimate right now, as I'm looking at new drawings and how they're performed on the page. By intimate, I don't mean small, or precious, but inviting and enveloping. The drawings themselves are larger than life, but they feel like a whispered secret told by the body.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Classic Cinema! The Dot and the Line

Thanks to Amanda W for sending this Academy Award-winning animation by Chuck Jones (1965), based on the book by Norton Juster (1963). I still feel sorry for the squiggle - he's just a hep cat doin' his thing.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mass Gesture

For the last two days, I've been coordinating a collaborative drawing project at Clemson University. Over 140 people participated in the making of the piece, which was framed as an experiment in accumulated gesture. Measuring 10x24 feet, the piece started with a texture rubbing of rice grains plus whatever people had in their pockets - change, keys, vitamins, headphones. The page was divided in half, and the two sides were developed very differently, each obeying a very separate logic of practice (one very formally controlled and systematic, the other driven by play and inventional gaming). The final act was to unify the entire piece in terms of both material and compositional flow.

Social metaphors emerged by the handful. The dyadic formal division was too extreme to be sustained if it were to remain one piece, so compromise was required. That took the form of a tenuous bipartisan drawing effort that was quickly buried by sea of heavier marks that indeed unified the piece but rendered it less nuanced. Tradeoffs occurred. Not everyone was pleased. Levels of personal investment and ownership varied radically, and the marks were an index of engagement. Moments of consensus were frequently reached, but then practice didn't necessarily follow from agreed-upon intention. Numerous parallels to the health care debate were drawn, in addition to thousands of marks. Many people drew big for the first time and loved it. It was a very good day.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mouse Marks is one of many online (etch-a-)sketch sites, but its pleasing palette and array of simple tools kept me happy for longer than the usual sixty seconds. It may be that because the palette is relatively limited, it makes for an interesting gallery collection of completed works - given the same few tools, what is the range of possibility? Clearly, reasonably vast.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Leaving the Trace

The temptation for a text-free post here is high, so I will partially indulge. Visit Lightmark. There is also strong temptation for puns involving a light-handed touch. No.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Hipster Drawing Circles

Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School is just one way in to the drawing+drinks+newartfriends circuit - options abound around the globe. 3rd Ward in Brooklyn hosts weekly "Drink N Draw" - they provide beer and models, you bring art supplies and $15 ($10 if you bring a friend); Word of Art in Cape Town has weekly drawing fiestas, culminating in a fundraiser in November (blog from last year's event); Fivepoints Arthouse in SF hosts weekly gatherings for the graphically inclined. And major events like The Big Draw in the UK and NYC are almost too good to be true for the dedicated drawer/draweuse.

Once again, drawing shows itself to be about something more than just putting lines on a page - it lends itself to organic forms of collaboration and sociability. If there is a social drawing night near you, please share via comments; I know they are everywhere!! Sidebar resource will ensue.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pedagogy Puzzle

This link takes you to one of several posts on a tucked-away blog that outlines (albeit vaguely) a course on creating your own systematic ways of generating drawings, or "drawing machines". I am assuming that "machine" here is more a theoretical construct, although there are also several drawings of machines in here as well. There is clearly an institution of higher learning involved in all this, but it's not clear who or how. What is here, though, are some interesting starting points for thinking about contemplative drawing practice, ala Marden and Yanagi and more. I found the post "on and on and on" to be the most interesting.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brett Littman on The Big Draw, NYC

Director of The Drawing Center, Littman shares insight into the main events of July's "The Big Draw", and says some Good Things About Drawing.

915 and Counting

New York artist and animator Scott Bateman has undertaken numerous drawing-to-exhaustion projects, including the Bateman365 (creating one animation a day, for a year), and now the 10,000 3x5 drawings project. They pop up often in the grab bag below, and I just had to see more - the count is at 915.

Undertakings like Bateman's, and anyone else who creates daily, highlight the positive shift that can happen after initial discomfort. Yesterday marked the first studio session with the advanced drawing students at USC. Our goal was to draw to exhaustion, and I think we came close in the form of 50 drawings of one object over three hours. It may not sound like much, but to go from zero (summer) to 60 (school) in one class is enough to make anybody pant a little. It also opens up a sense of confidence in one's own capacity to do something hard. When was the last time you drew to exhaustion? Have you made a drawing today? Why not?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Daily Serving

I have an image in my head of a stream I saw while camping in Yosemite - it would flow along, multiple small whirlpools would develop, combine, dissipate, and reform. Accordingly, blogging about blogs feels like the forming one of those small vortices - giving circular momentum to a particular informational bit.

Today's vortex is Self-described as an international forum for contemporary visual arts, they have been doing it daily since October 2006, and have since amassed quite an impressive cache of drawing-related posts. They take submissions of image and prose on a quarterly schedule.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Art School // Anti-Art School

It is the first day of class at the University of South Carolina and the art department is abuzz. Drawing classes are full-up and all is well in the world of markmaking pedagogy. Institutional allegiances aside, I was thrilled to see a sexy poster in the hall for Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School, right here in Columbia.

Born in Brooklyn in 2005 as a figure drawing cabaret, Dr. Sketchy has spawned over 60 branches around the world, bringing together figure drawing, burlesque, and cocktails. Bring your own art materials, pay the small admission fee, and partake in an evening of live modeling-cum-performance art. In my efforts to find a video trailer from a Dr. Sketchy drawing session, only this one from Glasgow qualified as appropriate for all ages:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New American Draintings

Okay, so 'drainting' has the same ring as 'drawer', but 'pawings' doesn't work either. What am I talking about? The latest issue (#82) of the Open Studio Press' New American Paintings is out, and I was fascinated to find that about 30% of the content fits into what I perceive as the drawing category - dry mediums on paper, or ink, watercolor, gouache, also on paper. Charcoal and graphite are particularly well-represented. The introduction by curator Ron Platt of the Birmingham Museum of Art alludes to only 'a diverse range of materials' used to generate paintings today.

This excites me and also raises some questions - is it necessary to make a distinction between painting and drawing? Is that just so 'pre-mark'? Are these categories helpful? Where does painting end and drawing begin and vice versa? Is some kind of disciplinary integrity lost or gained when we shift to thinking of 'original 2-dimensional works' vs. the P or the D? My vested interest in the question begins on page 140 (shameless self-promotion).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Laying on the Sauce

The last time I was in City Art, Columbia's fantastic independent art supply store, Randy brought out a box of Assorted Sauce for me to try. Given the regional propensity for barbeque, one might immediately assume a spicier offering, but what I encountered was a material between charcoal, conte, and China marker, water soluble and subtly shaded. It goes down with a smoothness that reminds me of talc, silky and light, but with an impressive permanence on the page. Add water, and it handles like ink. Distributed by Jack Richeson (as Yarka), these clay-based pastels originally hail from Russia, where they have been popular for decades. List price appears to range between $8 and 16 (USD) from major art supply outlets.

I am not giving up my charcoal (the elusive Demco, which I have only found in San Francisco and Montreal - any leads?) but there are new opportunities afforded by sauce which I am ready to explore.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Three Books (Justify my Love)

Three newish books on drawing theory, purpose, and process are available from Intellect, a media-oriented publishing house in the UK. I have them in my queue and will be ordering just now.

A question, perhaps, may be "Is there anything new to say about drawing?" Most texts on drawing start with the observation that this is something we have been doing as a species for quite some time now, and that recent resurgence of drawing links us back to primal practice in the midst (and possibly in defiance) of the digital age, while at the same time being very now-friendly.

I, for one, am always keen to read rationales for why we draw, how we do it, and what drawing(s) can be. It is both empowering and strange to work at the heart of a discipline that many people in the arts still consider subsidiary to other mediums (I am feeling debate fatigue on this one - it's real, okay?). But these are still fresh times for drawing, and the more voices in the mix extolling the virtues of the discipline the better, I think, especially in this economic climate of eliminating art classes and programs from curricula. It's harder to put a discipline in the 'irrelevant' pile when there are well-informed people making good arguments as to why drawing is not just relevant, but constitutes a vital contemporary practice of thinking, understanding, and expression.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Of Humble Bic and Biro

It's morning in my office and I can't find a pen. Charcoal, yes, twelve hardnesses of pencil, yes, and even a cattle marker, but nothing of ballpointed genus. Which leads me, of course, to look to the virtual.

Il Lee keeps Office Depot in business. His obsessively rendered texturescapes carry layers of ink, conspiring into dynamic forms and vibrant monochromatic miasma. Recent shows include the San Jose Musuem of Art, the Queens Museum of Art, and a compelling group show this summer at Art Projects International in New York. Lee has been drawing with a ballpoint for over 25 years.

An NYT review of the QMA show goes into a fair amount of detail regarding his process:

A question emerges from the article: How deeply does the drawing material impact your perception of the value of an artwork, especially when it comes to works on paper? Is there a heirarchy of drawing materials at play, with the lowly biro on the bottom? What is at the top?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Draw, Canada! Part II

Vancouver, BC's DRAWN Festival, a three-week city-wide celebration of drawing, reaches its conclusion with a wrap party on the 13th. In addition to artist talks, public performances, draw-ins, collaborations and classes, seventeen Vancouver galleries hosted drawing exhibitions for the month. Just looking at the shows makes me once again think of Canada as the Promised Land.

An interview with co-organizer Robert Kardosh in the National Post provides a short-but-sweet summary of what makes contemporary drawing a public good.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Silvia Bachli and Susan Hefuna

Recent posts have mentioned how drawing (especially while on vacation) slows and refines the act of seeing. While poking about the web looking for drawing's presence this year in Venice, two artists stand out as presenting the opportunity to look slowly at drawings (also while on vacation). Silvia Bachli, in the Swiss Pavilion, and Susan Hefuna, of Egypt, in the Italian Pavilion. Both artists present line works, diagramatic and gestural, and in such quantity that one is able to navigate the space of their ideas through serial unfolding. Shown both under glass and raw on the table (Bachli), the drawings offer up multiple entries for slow looking. Although, if you watch the video from, you'll see that the walk-past is still the standard viewing procedure for most.

Bachli Stills from Swiss Pavilion
Bachli Video

Hefuna Stills from Italian Pavilion

Monday, August 10, 2009

City Drawing at Home and Abroad

A student once said 'now that I can do gesture drawing, I don't need a camera any more - hello, Paris!' Seattle journalist and illustrator Gabriel Campanario started a fantastic drawing blog that takes this sentiment to heart -

USk features a Flickr group where anyone can upload drawings they have done of their urban surroundings, and the blog features selected drawings/artists from the larger pool. It offers the best of travel journaling combined with some fantastic drawings from all over the world. Look around, draw what you see, and join up!

On Gesture - I

Matisse said, “Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence.” The gesture has long occupied a central role in how I understand the act of drawing, as it affords a theoretical and practical intersection of body, vision, instinct, and material. A question that continues to fascinate me has to do with cathexis, or a mark's ability to transmit emotional content - how do marks 'speak' (to) experience?

Carrie Noland and Sally Ann Ness, in a co-edited volume called Migrations of Gesture, assemble essays that speak to gesture's ambition and capacity, from performance, to language, to drawing. Of particular interest is Noland's discussion of the work of Belgian artist Henri Michaux, who set out to create an iconic emotional language of gestural form.

I am curious, in the broadest sense, how gesture factors into your work - how do you conceive of gesture, and how does it manifest in your drawing? Do you think the gesture carries extra-semantic content? How does this operate? Theories and examples are welcome.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Simone Berti in Venice

In visual addendum to the conversation re: legitimacy below, please see Italian artist Simone Berti's drawings currently showing at the Biennale. Graphite and watercolor on paper.

Simone Berti website

Friday, August 7, 2009

Look Down

If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you'll see what Flickr-posters have labeled 'drawings', randomly displayed - everything from an Ohio 2nd grader's notebook sketches to elaborate Dutch murals.

The grab bag makes me happy - it has turned up unexpected humble treats, many on lined paper with a coil on the side. It reminds me of 8th grade social studies notes, the margins filled with the doodles that kept me listening to Mr. Moe's lectures. It reminds me of students in Cape Town who taught themselves to draw by meticulously copying magazine photos. And it reminds me that drawing is an intensely personal, often secret, pleasure, globally enjoyed. Please look down and see what's in the mix.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

David Kassan's "Portrait Anatomicae"

Figurative artist David Jon Kassan sets the realism bar high with his richly drawn portraits and paintings. His attention to surface and structure is translated into traditional figure studies as well as work that combines abstraction and figuration.

His self-published "Portrait Anatomicae" is a teaching aid for drawing the human head (with and without muscle, skin and personality), and my students have found it to be an extremely helpful resource. Kassan also provides an excellent benchmark by which to measure realism, i.e., "You want it to look 'real?' Keep going."

Portrait Anatomicae is $10 (USD) and is downloadable from his website at .

Also worth seeing is a time-lapse video of a three-hour portrait session by Kassan, collapsed into eight minutes:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New PBS Series is Draw-Positive

Colin Campbell, the host of Time Team America (which seems to be on every time I turn on PBS - please quiz me on the Clovis Period - I am prepared), provides an excellent role model for drawing enthusiasts. Moreover, he gives a wide audience running exposure to someone drawing in the field (literally), positioning himself between observation and imagination, not to mention providing a great running account of what is happening with that week's archaeological dig. If you haven't watched TTA yet, tune in to watch how smart and vital Colin's drawings are.

Please note I am still lacking a suitable label for someone who draws, and I can't bring myself to use "drawer". Please help.

Legitimacy Questions that Linger...

Joe R in Canada writes with : "Do you find that art galleries in the main stir clear of drawings? The prevalent attitude, at least in Canada, is that anything behind glass is a no-no. It is disheartening, the mindless attitude that somehow "works on paper" is less of an art form than paintings. Anyway, just some negative thoughts I can't shake."

My response at the moment it a bit skewed, as I just came in from hanging a gallery show of all drawings. The gallery owner is very open-minded and embraces multiple forms of image-making, but at the same time acknowledges that her buyers are less likely to pay the same for a drawing as for a painting (alas, the drawings going for about half of what a similarly-sized painting would sell for).

I have had the best luck showing my drawings in academic settings, versus commercial galleries (the most recent show being the first exception) - there, drawing can occupy the role of 'thought experiment on paper' and raise questions about the process of ideation and production. Selling isn't the goal, so it takes the heat off.

On a visit to New York last fall, I think it's safe to say that every 10th gallery I went into had drawings on display. Zak Smith stands out as a brilliant poster child - hundreds of his small drawings, posted right on the wall, nothing under glass, in the heart of Chelsea. I take inspiration from this, and keep doing what I do (without glass).

Other thoughts on commercial galleries' attitudes toward drawings as legitimate exhibition fare?

Monday, August 3, 2009

August is Drawing History Month?

Yes, why not. Two excellent exhibitions in New York, looking at what was hot 700-200 years ago in drawing.

METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: ‘LIVING LINE: SELECTED INDIAN DRAWINGS FROM THE SUBHASH KAPOOR GIFT,’ through Sept. 7. This almost supernaturally beautiful exhibition presents 40 mostly small drawings by Indian miniaturists of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Rendered with amazing skill, the subjects include bearded aristocrats and bejeweled women; hunting scenes; wild animals and mythic beasts fighting; and gods, goddesses and demons ascending and descending. The art of drawing does not get much better than this. (212) 535-7710,

METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: ‘PEN AND PARCHMENT: DRAWING IN THE MIDDLE AGES,’ through Aug 23. This quietly ravishing exhibition ventures where few shows have gone before, with 50 rarely seen works. They prove medieval drawing to be vital, diverse and essential to the medium’s Renaissance blossoming. They reveal the medium untangling from manuscript illumination and Christianity in general — although not without first reveling in some astounding Psalters, gospels, epistles and a saint’s life or two. It re-embraces antiquity and provides a framework for speculative (read, secular) thought. The show ends with the visionary drawings of Opicinus de Canistris, a 13th-century Italian cleric who diagrammed his own notion of the relationship between the earthly and spiritual church. (212) 535-7710,

(NYT 7/30/09)

Drawing = Longer, Better, Looking

Michael Kimmelman, in today's NYT

"Recently, I bought a couple of sketchbooks to draw with my 10-year-old in St. Peter’s and elsewhere around Rome, just for the fun of it, not because we’re any good, but to help us look more slowly and carefully at what we found. Crowds occasionally gathered around us as if we were doing something totally strange and novel, as opposed to something normal, which sketching used to be. I almost hesitate to mention our sketching. It seems pretentious and old-fogeyish in a cultural moment when we can too easily feel uncomfortable and almost ashamed just to look hard. "

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Interview with Jason Franz of Manifest

An interview with Jason Franz from Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati. Franz is editor of Manifest's International Drawing Annual, and has done amazing work to promote contemporary drawing.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Hugo Crosthwaite Video

Draw, Canada!

City-wide drawing festival in Vancouver, BC - July 18 - August 8


Is drawing the cornerstone of your studio practice? Post a comment with your website and any additional information you'd like to provide about what you do and why. I will feature an artist each month, in addition to keeping a running list of Those Who Draw. I am also fascinated to hear what you call what you do; "drawer" has never flowed easily off the tongue. Personally, I stick with the active "I draw."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

USC Hand-drawn Animation

Fourteen students from the University of South Carolina produced 60 short videos in three weeks. Watch them here:

Drawing :: Kinetic

Brilliant street-drawn animation directed by Shynola for Coldplay.

Strawberry Swing

First Mark

The moment of tapping the mic - is this thing on? Greetings, and welcome to a collection of posts, images and thoughts regarding contemporary drawing practice. I welcome all links, references, articles and insights regarding how drawing is currently positioned in the critical and practical landscape of creative production.

What makes drawing an essential practice? What are the boundaries of drawing as envisioned by artists? Critics? Historians? How does drawing inform verbal activity? Where does drawing intersect with theory, and what are the possibilities therein?

I look forward to an expanding conversation in times ahead. Please contribute your images and ideas!