Posts Tagged ‘capturing movement’

A black Lucent telephone
with three lines.
It sits mute on the desk.
No one ever calls anymore.
They send IMs instead.

A color photograph
14 by 10
of 20 or so people in China
the Chinese all wearing black rain coats and with black straight hair
the U.S. people are squinting in the sun
gray, blond, bald, brown heads
thinking, Look at me now.

There’s a mirror on the wall
across from where I sit.
It reminds me of my vanity
moreso because the engraving on it
tells me how good I am.

My desk has a life of its own
If it were a landscape
it would be the badlands
yellow stickies that I seem to not want to kill
survivors they are
persisting day to day.

Arch in my right foot
lifts from the leather sole of my sandal.
I see a shadow there.

Army green backpack
a large hole at the base
where the back of the backpack
rubs against my back.
A different kind of backrub
this backpack goes begging for.

A co-worker hunched down in his chair
the palms of his hands
resting on the keyboard
his fingers tapping lightly.
He learned to type the right way;
Mrs. O’Malley would scold his posture.

A quiet spot near the window
I hear the air conditioner
a person shuffling paper in the cube next door
and the sound of graphite on notepad.

A cloud that looks like the lion on Wizard of Oz.
Puffy cheeks, nose in the air,
curly mane on the day before he meets the wizard.
The cloud, too, is on
an important mission to somewhere.

Artificial Christmas tree
7 feet tall.
Red bead garland
laced along the branches.
Tree is stuck in the corner
next to the file cabinet
waiting for Christmas.

From Topic post, Gesture.

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Gesture Drawing 2, drawing © 2007 by ybonesy, all rights reserved
Arms Behind Back, drawing © 2007 by
ybonesy. All rights reserved.

If writing practice were art, it would be a gesture drawing.
                                                                        –red Ravine, 2007

I remember doing gesture drawings on a rainy day in winter, sitting in front of my pad of cheap newsprint, thin charcoal stick in my right hand. The room had high ceilings and a gray cement floor. Our nude model was cold; I could tell from the gooseflesh on her arms, from her nipples. Before we began she walked to the small space heater, bent over and pushed it closer to the wooden stage where she was to pose. In spite of the cold, she seemed more comfortable in her skin than I was fully clothed.

Kimon Nicolaides introduced the concept of gesture drawing in 1941 in his book The Natural Way To Draw: A Working Plan For Art Study. Artist Nancy Doyle, in her instruction website, explains the concept this way:

I see the idea of gesture as the essential character of a figure or object, a kind-of eastern philosophy viewpoint. That is, everything has a gesture. As Nicolaides wrote, ‘Everything has a gesture – even a pencil.’ On the physical level, the pencil’s gesture is a ‘shooting’ straight line, very quick. That physical movement has an intangible counterpart – its essence – its movement identity, personality, or essence…That deep green shadow of the leaves – what gesture does it have? What is it doing? Curving diagonally from top to bottom, right to left? What is its energy level? What is the spirit of its movement, its light, its color? Also, I began to see the actual composition of the painting in gestural terms – an idea that the abstract expressionists also espoused. What is the composition doing? It has a certain movement – physical and spiritual. Is it graceful? Sweeping? Tentative? Curved? Angular? Agitated? Serene?

In gesture drawing the artist sketches the model using quick lines. Each gesture drawing is done in anywhere from a thirty seconds to two or three minutes. The idea is to capture in your drawing the movement of the body, the essence of the pose. Gesture drawing reminds the artist that no matter what you are drawing, it has action and life.

Gesture Drawing 3, drawing © 2007 by ybonesy, all rights reserved
Leaning Forward On Right Foot, drawing © 2007 by
ybonesy. All rights reserved.

This week’s topic assignment is to apply the concept of gesture drawing to writing. Find a quiet spot outside or in to sit for three minutes. Then with notebook and pen in hand, walk to an object – a chair, lamp post, shrub, shoe – and quickly capture with words what you see. Write for no more than a minute or two. (If you don’t want to keep time with a watch, use line count instead; one or two lines, not even full sentences.) Keep your hand moving the entire time, and try to keep your eyes on the object as you write. Move to another object and do the same. Do this until you have ten different objects in your notebook.

When you’re done, go to the same quiet spot where you started and read aloud what you’ve written. Share with us in Comments whichever gesture practices you’d like. Also tell us, how did this feel? Was it simply a short timed practice? Or did you get to the essence of whatever it was in front of you more quickly than you normally would in a longer timed write? What was the difference between this and a longer practice?

Gesture Drawing 1, drawing © 2007 by ybonesy, all rights reserved
Arms Outstretched, drawing © 2007 by ybonesy. All
rights reserved.

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