Practicing Art with Your Left Brain

One of the best ways to decompress after a long week is to do something that you really enjoy, even if it is for an hour. The workshop I attended this month was doing just that. The ArtEco club at the School for Environment and Sustainability offered a photography and sketching workshop. This was a unique opportunity where I was able to work on something that I had forgotten how much I enjoyed doing. With art materials provided and a quick but informative presentation, we dived right into the sketching activities. Something new that I learned was blind contour drawing. This method involves drawing without looking at your paper. It requires you to focus and concentrate on the object rather than trying to make your drawing perfect. The second drawing method, one of my favorites, was upside down drawing. We were forced to draw what we saw instead of what we thought we saw. Drawing upside down forces the left side of the brain to resign drawing a subject based on our preconceived notion of how something should look.

By the end of the workshop I had completed drawings of two different species of woody plants: American chestnut (Casteinea dentata) and Dwarf Blackberry (Rubus hispidus). It was amazing to see how much I had learned about the plants by simply turning them upside down. I noticed details I had not seen before. I’m now interested in taking a woody plants class to learn more.. Most importantly, it was a great way to take my mind off school work and focus on something different. Overall, the activity helped me process information in a way I never thought about before. I hope to continue exploring other types of workshops where one’s creativity can flourish.