Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas sketching and thoughts about hand-eye coordination

Sketchbook noodling for Christmas -- ornaments

Several days ago, I spent some time sketching to see if I could create a Christmas card. I had lots of fun exploring motifs, but in the end, I did not like anything I made enough to send, especially a design that would be simple enough to make sending hand-drawn cards possible. It occurred to me that allowing more time and engaging in a little planning might have gone a long way. Note to self for next year.

More sketches -- trees

As I loosened up, I also had fun exploring different iterations of Bunzo. After sketching this, I wrote in my journal the next morning,

They come apart. The patterns come apart, and you can draw them that way. You can mix and match bits and pieces of patterns in freeform fashion. Recombinations are great fun. 

It's strange to me now that as I watched a clear and deliberate demonstration of Bunzo being drawn, I drew the sliver shapes vertically and felt fairly frustrated with not being able to reproduce on my tile what was appearing on screen. This peculiar lack of communication between hand and eye is not terribly unusual judging from other workshop participants I talked with in Providence this past summer. The eyes take in what is being drawn, but the brain's commentary gets in the way. I do, in fact, have an issue with many things visual, directional, and spatial relational. When I am tired or stressed, for example, I can look directly at an object and not "see" it, especially if I am looking for it. (Go figure.) I am also really poor at finding my way anywhere (navigator, I love you) and stink at Tetrus. These cognitive difference of mine are a very big reason that I enjoy Zentangle so much. Learning to draw the patterns, to work with them and recombine them is a terrific workout for a part of my mind that doesn't work so well.