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Drawing: The Enactive Evolution of the Practitioner

Author: Patricia Cain

Publisher: Intellect Ltd


Publish Date: July 15, 2010

ISBN-10: 1841503258

Pages: 294

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

How do we think as we draw? Do we simply have a predetermined idea about what it is that we want to put down on paper and merely carry this out, or is the activity itself a form of thinking that emerges as it progresses? How might it be possible to investigate these ideas in practice and access the knowledge which accrues from doing this, when the activity very open cannot be expressed in words or even consciously identified?

This book is my account of how I have considered these questions whilst investigating the relationship between thinking and drawing when engaging in the activity of drawing. Prompted by two initial hunches that drawing involves both brain and body and occurs within the activity, I started to ask myself, ‘how do I think as I draw?’ My account is about how I have investigated what it is that I come to know by drawing, and how I have come to recognise that the experience of drawing can make visible our emergent thinking processes.

I did not set out knowing that I would be dealing with these ideas. My interest had initially come from an impulse to understand what happens when I draw (which is part of an artistic process of working that is personal to me as an artist). But this was significantly fuelled by my experience of art education, which highlighted how difficult it was to explain or be explicit about what we, as makers, consider our artwork to be ‘about’.

During our time as undergraduate students in Fine Art, my contemporaries and I became used to being asked for verbal validation about the development of our work as part of the assessment process. I came to appreciate how di%cult this was, not because articulation eludes me generally, but for the reason that it was not always possible to say what one was doing, and that many reasons for decisions in the activity of drawing were not apparent to me. In fact, if I had been pushed to describe my state of mind or the conditions for the decisions made during making, I might have done no better than to describe a state of absentmindedness. Retrospective explication was sometimes more possible, but during the process this was elusive or at best ambiguous.

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