The Confident Creative: Drawing to Free the Hand and Mind, by artist Cat Bennett, was the subject of yesterday’s post. Today I get to welcome Cat Bennett as a guest blogger here at Boston Art Images.
Thanks, Cat, for sharing the following thoughts with us.
It’s All Good!
Every Saturday morning I teach drawing. I begin every class with an exercise in which we can’t be judged—like scribbling or drawing upside down. These explorations level the playing field because there’s no right way to scribble and because no one does a totally accurate drawing upside-down. It’s a way of practicing, seeing what’s possible, focusing our minds and training our eyes.
It’s so important to see drawing and art as a practice. Keep a pencil and sketchbook on hand and set aside a few minutes every day. Showing up every day builds momentum—there’s no other way. It teaches us to know ourselves, grow our strengths and enter the realm of pure creativity with ease. We all get so screwed up from our years of being evaluated and graded in school. We sometimes wonder whether we’re good enough or if our work matters. We often think that every time we put pencil to paper we have to do something “good.” Trying to do something “good” can stop creativity in its tracks. To be really creative, and to draw with confidence, we have to make mistakes and go where we’ve never been before. That’s messy.
Creativity is an organic process—one thing leads to another.
Of course, when we’re drawing, we can notice those niggling thoughts that drift through our minds. Especially the ones that say, “This is terrible!” or “I’ll never be Picasso!” It’s true, we will none of us be Picasso or Damien Hurst. Whatever we think of other artists, we can only be ourselves. That’s freedom! Negative thoughts come to us all and we can just let them go. We might notice too that a great artist like Matisse left plenty of mistakes in this work. He knew that the strength in his work would overcome any weakness. It will in ours too.
When we make a habit of drawing, it can liberate our creative selves by giving us a chance to reconnect with pure exploration. We’ll soon bring the attitude of inquiry to all of our creative work. When we do this, we soon connect with this beautiful free part of ourselves again. And that’s where art comes from.
Thanks to the very creative Paula Ogier, for her beautiful review of the book and for giving me this space to add a few words!