The Pencil is a Doorway

I would say that drawing was my first passion in life. It’s where ideas met paper even before I could write. I remember being 3 or 4 years old drawing a picture of a horse. It had many legs and I knew it wasn’t correct but I was so proud of the fact that I managed to get what I saw in my head and put down on paper. So thus started a revolution for me. What great power you have to a small child who first wields a crayon or pencil to an empty white page! And as an older child I would “borrow ” my dad’s colored pencils and computer paper and draw the hills that surrounded me. As a teenager I would escape into my world where I would write stories and draw them out with detail because I was master of the pages in front of me. 


Drawing is remarkably transformative no matter what age you are. That’s a powerful statement when you think about it. Drawing is remarkably transformative as if it’s the pencil itself making you change. No, the pencil is the tool, it’s the act of drawing, observing, imaginging and wondering that is the transformative part. 

The pencil is the gateway, the door, to opening up yourself and reflection on your world and what you perceive. It dares you to think about yourself and to think about what you see and even your definition of what reality really is. For what’s light blue to one person may seem dark to another. It pulls you out of your shell and asks you what your dreams are, what your hopes are, and what your fears are. These pages in a sketchbook are sudctive with its clean white sheets begging for a graceful curvy lines to dance around its space. All the while you ask yourself does any of this scribbling matter? Is this really “art”?


Drawing and sketching, scribbling and mark making, thinking and observing is all at the very heart of what art is. It is messy and disorganized. There are many stops and starts with ripped up paper from erasers and ghosts lines from false starts. There are frustrated scribble marks and sometimes a beautiful drawing emerges half way through your sketchbook worthy to be called “art”. 

But really what makes art is the artist with her pencil and nothing else. If the rest of the world cannot recognize it as art than that is a loss to the world not to the artist. 


Soon I will be teaching my first workshop in drawing and we will explore the basics of drawing so they can return to their solitude and boldly explore their inner worlds and feel the transformative power of the practice of drawing.

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