Typical of drawings by those with little or no art training, is a subject with no background, eg, a girl placed in the middle of the page. Landscapes are often drawn as if looking out a window directly in front of the scene, eg. the mountain range at the rear, sky, sun, grass at the front and trees to the side.
In one our of drawing afternoons at the Unatti Home, we explored the idea of choosing a point of view for drawing, painting or taking a photo. Starting with the concept of the close up, I showed a range of photos, inviting them to consider what the photographer was wanting to show the viewer in each picture. There is no doubt that one of those photos is about pots, and another is about spices.
Later in our conversation I showed them paintings from the French artist, Edgar Degas. By carefully choosing a point of view, this artist’s work inspires us to wonder and consider what lies beyond the frame? What else is happening? The position from which the artist chooses to draw or paint from can be the difference between an intriguing, enchanting, engaging work and one that is none of those things.
We work in a tiny shared space at the house; we all sit around two low tables which are about 20cm from the ground, there’s lots of the girls books, bags, and toys in the room, as well as functionary things like the refrigerator, hanging hold-all, torch etc. The girls were asked to choose a section of the room and draw it, to consider the point of view. Most chose to do a close up view of a section of the interior, whilst others choose to focus on what lay beyond through the windows.
I was impressed by their drawings, and very impressed by some. During the last sessions I have been encouraging them to draw with confidence rather than with feathery lines and I think these drawings show those skills developing.