As an integral part of my art practice, I draw every day. I have written (Pearse, 2004, 2007, 2011) that daily drawing is like daily jogging, swimming or piano playing. Not only does the routine and discipline of a daily ritual focus, calm or relax the mind, it can strengthen and condition parts of the physical body, in this case the “drawing muscles” – eye, hand and brain. With devotion and persistence, increased skill in rendering, as well as confidence and fluency in visual thinking and media manipulation, can develop. In addition to its physical and psychological benefits, daily drawing makes me a better drawer and visual thinker. I think a similar practice will be beneficial for my students. I encourage them to draw every day or at least on a regular basis, defining drawing broadly as mark making and image generation. A mark, which derives from kinaesthetic manipulation, imagination, memory, description or observation, becomes an image, and can be made not only with a pen, pencil, pen, markers or crayon, but also with paint, brushes, scissors, a camera, a computer – the list goes on. I call the collection of these marks/images a “visual journal” rather than a sketchbook.
A major dimension of my art practice is daily drawing. The pages and books constitute a perpetual calendar in which the subjects, besides being my dogs and cat, are markers (metaphorical and literal). The essential subject however, is time itself. In effect, making a drawing every day in a particular kind of sketchbook and dating the drawing, is a conceptual art piece, maybe even performance art, albeit a private performance. While each drawing is done with intent, it is the accumulation of sketchbooks filled with drawings, rather than any individual drawing, that constitutes the work of art.
- Pearse, H. (2004). “Themes, Cross-curricular Connections and Daily Drawing”, in StARTing With … ,. K. Grauer and R. Irwin (Eds.), CSEA.
- Pearse, H. (2011). “Confessions of a daily drawing addict”. New Directions: BCATA Journal for Art teachers, Volume 53, Number 2, British Columbia Art Teachers’ Association, pp.4-11