drawing the mind

the dark hand picks from the table

Certain models of the brain show that the human mind most likely has two or more sources from which thoughts are created. For example, some of us study the left and right sides of the brain, or the zones of the brain that perform specific tasks (frontal cortex vs Broca’s area, for example). These aren’t perfect models but they get us closer to understanding how our bodies help us to think.

I think it is very telling and natural that there are many cultural explanations as well for where thoughts come from. A very important one is the light/dark or yin/yang allegory. These speak of a “dark” and a “light” side to all people, to keep it simple, and finding equilibrium within that context is something we all share as people. We just call it by different names.

A lot of what I draw attempts to reconcile different areas of my mind, to accept all aspects of the self. Here the shadowy hand is reaching out to eat from the bowl of another world made up here of cleaner lines. It’s just one example of a work that expresses my desire to explore the mind – another thing shared by all people.

Magic carpet bird

bird in flight

The carpet bird is a new monster I created after remembering that I loved drawing birds as a child and teenager – even though I didn’t like actual birds very much (things are different now!).

Not being a fan of realism, I decided to decorate my abstract bird monster with a pattern that I remember from an old Persian-style rug we used to have. I can forget lots of things about my childhood, especially visual things, but I’ll remember a carpet we used to have when I was tiny.

I guess what I am trying to say is that this drawing is as much about a carpet as it is about a bird.

The ever-present face

the ever present face

One thing my doctor and I talked about when he was diagnosing me with ADHD was that when I was a kid, I saw faces in everything. I would always find two eyes and a nose, even inside the barely-visible strokes of paint on the wall. What a weird superpower.

Finding the face in things made me feel calm when I was in a stressful situation; something that happens to a kid pretty often. To my doctor, this was something of a sign that my brain was wired a little differently from others.

Today, I draw faces more than I see them. They still comfort me.

Auditory

I drew this a few weeks ago, based on the idea that music lives in our every cell.

vase voice orange purp

It’s a little cliche, sure. But much of art is based on things we’ve seen over and over again.

One of my favourite artists ever is Vasily Kandinsky, who drew music effortlessly (based on his synesthesia) and I would have him no other way. I adore the obvious movement his music-based works have; the clear emotion of his experience.

Just like any other artist, I tend to draw what’s close to home. So while I did think of Kandinsky, these colours and lines are all mine; a representation of my musical “home.”