This drawing is a close up of a piece of work produced during a day out at the Burrell Collection at the end of last term. The brief required us to spend some time drawing a small section of an object onto an A6 piece of paper. We were then asked to stick this onto a larger sheet and work out from there, filling in the surrounding detail. As I wandered around the building, I found this ‘Jack’ clock tucked away in a corner. My eye was instantly drawn to the intricate inner mechanical workings, so I sat down and got started, quite pleased with my discovery. However, I very quickly came to regret my choice as I spent most of the rest of the day wrestling with my drawing. I wanted to depict the cogs and wheels as accurately as I could, but was getting increasing frustrated with my efforts. I think that I felt restricted by the small size of paper I was trying to work on.
Towards the end of the day we gathered together for a quick review of how things were going so far. I was all ready to give up at this point, and was feeling pretty discouraged. One of the girls on my course suggested that I treat the remainder of the drawing as a blind drawing, as she remembered that I had really enjoyed this method during Life Drawing class. I’m not really sure why I had not considered doing this myself before then, but it seemed like such an obvious solution as soon as she said it.
I was amazed at the difference in my drawing, as well as my mood once I got back to work. Drawing blindly really helped to free me up. It allowed me to let go of control. I was no longer afraid to ruin the smaller drawing I had spend all day doing. The juxtaposition of the more controlled, precise drawing with the looser, flowing lines really appeals to me. So I guess for me this drawing is a valuable lesson in persistence, the value of others’ advice, and the surprising results you can get if you are willing to relinquish control.