Experiment #19: Finding Your Subject

I love this concept: “There is a Japanese word… kokoromochi, the true spirit and living force that moves through all things. In Japanese brush painting the artist’s goal is not to replicate what he or she is seeing but to transfer this living force into what he or she is painting.”

Experiment #19: Draw your subject with oil crayon or charcoal, trusting the path the crayon is making on the paper. When the drawing process feels complete, move with your drawing, noticing where you experience it inside. After this preliminary sensing drawing, take some time to simply see what is around. Do you notice anything that attracts your attention? If you are outside, it could be a clump of grass under your feet, a nearby rock or a tree… Does anything call you in the world? When something comes to your attention, take the time to feel it inside. After moving with your subject, draw it with eyes closed, directly from this inner feeling. Then move again with what you have chosen and draw your subject with eyes open. Can you still let your sense of movement guide the drawing?

Experiment #19.1 by Meghan Oona Clifford

I started with a large, airy plant in our yard. I forget what it’s called, but I know it’s a non-native, somewhat invasive plant. It’s tall and beautiful though. I drew hurried, just capturing the feeling of the thin, bending leaves and the puffy tops.

Then, I looked around the yard. What called me were the eucalyptus trees swaying in the wind, so I looked at them for awhile and swayed with them a bit. I closed my eyes and this is what happened:

Experiment #19.2 by Meghan Oona Clifford

Then, eyes open, I moved a bit more — swaying, reaching, and climbing. There’s a lot of upward motion to a eucalyptus. I let my sense of movement make the grey trucks reach upward, and the green leaves climb up the trunks. It’s the most dynamic of the three pieces I think.

Experiment #19.3 by Meghan Oona Clifford

Experiment #19: Finding Your Subject
19×24,” $25, available here…


♥ ~ Meghan Oona
P.s. Read about my goals, hopes, and inspiration in undertaking this project, here…




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