Our professor, Mollie Hosmer Dillard (Mollie HD) had a lot to do with the liveliness of the class (Mollie’s Website). Her open spirit made for an enriching experience for all the students. I think her approach encouraged students to work together more often and to give constructive feedback voluntarily. The focus was less on perfected work and more on completing many works – increasing the sample size. Perhaps an even more important aspect was the approach to the process of drawing – how it feels to do it. This holds especially true in one of our first in-class assignments. We were instructed to form two parallel rows, sit face-to-face, and create blind contour drawings of each other! (blind contour drawing is where you keep your eyes on the subject the entire time). I believe we were given one minute per drawing, then we’d shift to the next seat and proceed to draw our new partner. This exercise resulted in laughter, embarrassment, friendship, uninterrupted periods of eye contact, empathy, and more. It was the best icebreaker, to say the least. Here are a few of my drawings from that exercise.
It was a great start to the class. It turned out to be a really effective outlet for busy freshman me. Something that I could lose myself in. I feel it tapped into a very early creative place that I hadn’t been acquainted with since middle school and early high school. Before music was ever a creative pursuit, drawing was my world. It felt great to return, so great that I declared a studio art major for the fall semester of 2017.
Here are a few more drawings that I completed for the class. Charcoal was something I’d only tried once or twice on my own, but we made dozens and dozens of them in this class. I fell in love with the medium. So flexible. Wonderful for smooth, broad gestures. Effective for conveying dark and light.
(still life starting with a charcoal ground)
(study of my bedroom)
(In-class night drawing – The lawn behind the IU fine arts building. It was hard to see!)
The final project was so unexpected. We were not yet told what the end result would be, but Mollie HD’s first instructions were to go outside and take selfies.