Taking a crayon to the back of the bathroom door as a toddler. Doodling excessively on the pages of grade school assignments. Learning drawing techniques in a children’s class in the rustic building of the local artists guild. Sketching friends during high school classes, at the coffee shop, the view out the bedroom window, or on a cross-country adventure. Organizing my suite-mates, my first semester at college, to paint a mural covering the long wall of our common room. A lifelong practice of drawing in daily life is the root of my art-making, which has grown to encompass a wider experience of the world in color and paint.
Why draw? A natural inclination. A subconscious compulsion. A socially acceptable manner of channeling antsy energy in a constrained environment. Critical theories and literary musings on what compels humans to create attribute shamanic intention to early artists, an attempt to conjure spiritual and magical benefits from cosmic and celestial sources, or resolve subliminal conflict. Perhaps, like me, they simply had a feeling— simultaneously superficial and deeply inextricable from who they were at their core.
On a surface level, I simply feel compelled to draw— I recognize the urge to use my hands. No complex evolutionary forces drive my practice. Just the sensation of the soft pencil dragging across the paper. I delight in the marks that are brought into existence— one line tucking into another, a heavier edge becoming lighter as I lift the pressure of the pencil, the smooth side of the point creating a block of shading with no perceptible delineation.
It's true, this impulse also exists deep within me, and arises from an inner place that is unknowable with words— pre-verbal and undefinable. Inseparable from my being, and yet without psychological constructs of secret meaning or interpretations toward greater purpose.
It can’t be explained, it simply is.