Insights, Discoveries, Surprises

Insights, Discoveries, Surprises: Drawing from the Model

Copyright Date: 1993
Pages: 120
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  • Book Info
    Insights, Discoveries, Surprises
    Book Description:

    The book combines candid dialogue, photographs of their drawings, and practical teaching notes. This unique structure allows the authors to share their spontaneous discussion about a creative approach to the subject-matter. Most importantly, it offers an intimate connection between the reader and the artist-writers. By revealing the details of their creative struggles and the challenge of working together, Caiserman-Roth and Cohen hope to inspire readers to generate their own "dialogue" and make their own discoveries.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6390-2
    Subjects: Art & Art History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
    (pp. 7-8)

    This is not a “how to draw” book. It is a book based on a series of regular four-hour drawing sessions undertaken over a period of four years by an artist-teacher and a psychoanalyst-artist who come to drawing from different educational and philosophical backgrounds. At the end of each session we taped our observations and insights. Our discoveries were the basis of our dialogue.

    We were always aware of our desire to discuss our work at the end of each session. Sometimes it was not possible; as with the creative process, we could not speak on demand. On certain days...

    (pp. 9-12)
    Ghitta Caiserman-Roth

    Like so many children, I was a gifted child. This art gift was nurtured in me by my parents. My father, Hanane, was in love with art and artists, and he “gave” me a teacher (Alexandre Bercovitch, a painter and set designer from Russia). Throughout his life he also gave me books on art, which I still have. Two I particularly treasure are the Penguin edition of the Henry Moore “shelter” sketch-books and one on Ben Shahn. My “papa” gave me paintboxes and beautiful coloured paper, and wrote about me (anonymously) in the local papers. My mother, Sarah, was a...

    (pp. 13-18)
    Rhoda Cohen

    When friends and colleagues ask how we came to write this book and how our ideas emerged, I find it necessary to describe my personal journey through my two worlds: the world of psychoanalysis and the world of art. I met Ghitta twenty years ago, when I was a student at the Saidye Bronfman Centre and Concordia University. All these years later, we find ourselves drawing together in a shared studio and engaged in a dialogue that we feel is worth sharing with you.

    Throughout the years, I studied art in an informal way. I worked with many teachers, but...

    (pp. 19-34)

    GhittaWe’re talking about what it’s like to get into a new space – it seems like an analogy for beginning – a new space in your head. We all come with our own history and feelings, from which we enter the drawing experience.

    What’s it like for you, Rhoda, to move to a new studio, one we will share? It’s a new physical space for both of us – also a new head space! You’ve brought a kettle and your dreams. I’ve brought a mirror and a plant. We brought easels, tables, a hassock – some of our old...

    (pp. 35-40)

    RhodaThere are so many associations you can bring to drawing. It’s almost like searching in the dark.

    GhittaSo let’s turn off the lights. Maybe we won’t see the model so clearly.

    RhodaMaybe when there’s less light, in a way you see more. Perhaps it’s easier to get started.

    GhittaWe are two individuals, and so we begin in very different ways. For me, getting started means the long preparation I do: getting myself in the mood three days before the model shows up. I create pages that might have some connection later on. Sometimes these pages represent...

    (pp. 41-62)

    GhittaWe have another new model today, and we are just beginning to get to know her. We are entering a phase of gestural drawing, and the model, by changing her pose every few seconds, can help us. She is changing these hard-to-hold poses very quickly. We are used to longer periods of study, where we build up the page. Now we are reacting quickly and drawing spontaneously.

    RhodaIn the quick-gesture poses I’m almost moving my body in tune with the model. It’s as if I’m using my body to help me identify with the movement in the pose....

    (pp. 63-82)

    RhodaI like to spend time looking at my drawings. I think about the way I’ve been working and try to understand what else may have occurred at the time I was drawing.

    GhittaI look over my work – not every week, but after a few months. What did you find when you looked at several months’ work?

    RhodaI tried to distinguish between the drawings that said something to me, those that worked for me, and those that were more clichéd and automatic. It was amazing. I could remember what I was feeling the days I was working....

  10. DISCOVERING OUR INTENTIONS: Our Review of Our Work
    (pp. 83-110)

    RhodaToday we spread out all our work on the floor and reviewed it. At the same time, we chose the drawings we might use for this book. It’s interesting, Ghitta, as we look back and think of our discussions and how we both draw. It appeared that I put the emphasis on my feelings and that you’ve been more influenced by the light and dark and the shapes. But when I look at this drawing I did when I felt excited and bold – “Woman Emerging,” it’s called – I see that the light in the roomdidinfluence...

    (pp. 111-116)

    We were sitting in a coffee shop and overheard two young people discussing “suffering and art.” Perhaps sharing a studio can take away some of the angst of that “creative suffering.”

    Sharing the studio and interacting intellectual and emotionally through art is an intense experience. There can be moments of uncertainty, vulnerability, envy, and competitiveness. Our friendship, our sense of caring, and our feeling of responsibility to one another have helped us to overcome these moments and brought us together on a deeper level. It’s more than a friendship: it’s an art-based relationship between two intense individuals who struggle daily...

    (pp. 117-119)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 120-120)