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.

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.”

 

Scare

I love horror. Gory, funny, dark, demented, all of it really.

Behold Scare:

 

farm life

This drawing is meant to have undertones of the mystery and paranoia that come wrapped up in the “occult” or “horror” themes. The sinister feeling in your body, the uncertainty of knowing and not knowing, etc. all inspire me often when I doodle or draw.

The eye I doodle constantly makes an appearance as a major character this time. The floating eye and mixed messages coming from it hang authoritatively over the structure below; all existing in a cold white space. I used the structure and environment of a farm because it was a wholesome setting where our sustenance grows.

To me, no place is safe. I have to deal with that reality. Basically, I wanted to show somewhere vulnerable.

 

the “feminine”-I

Personally, my spirituality has blossomed out of what most societies call “feminine” ideals. The binary hasn’t impressed me since I was little and called tomboy, which didn’t bother me but nonetheless was based on silliness. However, sometimes the language of masculine and feminine is useful, and for the time being it’s what we have as a society.

moquee

When it comes to art, I tend to create things that some may view as “sexless” – sexuality and gender expression are not a huge part of what ends up being expressed. Since I do things so intuitively, I just let those aspects of my identity show themselves as needed. It just so happens that it is rare. *shrug*

I decided to draw in pencil again the other day, and when I looked at it I could immediately see the “feminine” aspects of what I had drawn. I wasn’t surprised, or upset, but instead viewed it as merely interesting.

I’m content with that.

God Egg

A title? A work in…pencil?! It’s powerful and rare to feel successful in newness, so I’m going to revel just a little.

god egg

A mechanical pencil isn’t too different from a pen, not until you start trying to draw and the line feels totally wrong at first.

I had to figure out a way to work with something thinner but also softer, while being varying in tone based on pressure. With a pen, being bold feels easier and the directness of the ink worked to make the art I feel represents me.

With a pencil, being bold needed to be more decisive. I attempted to escape the “refined” details such thin lead is good at producing, but that couldn’t be further from what I’m like. However, mixing thick lines with thinner details changed my way of thinking about creation.

“God Egg” is my own heart’s creation and using the new medium made me feel stronger about my work. This newness has turned bountiful.

 

Carpet lore

Islamic art has been a part of my life since I was a baby and I crawled around my mom’s prayer mat. It continued when I visited the Kaabah in Makkah as a child, and continues now whenever I gaze at the characters in a Qur’an peppered with floral motifs.

Art is a big part of my spiritual practice. Below is a drawing I made when I felt inspired by the majestic carpets I’ve seen all my life – from Turkey, India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Eastern Europe (Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, etc), Iran, etc.

RB 2018-02-01 13.16.49

 

Recently (a couple of months ago) I got to visit an exquisite exhibit on carpets and motifs present in them over the centuries. I realised that, unconsciously, I had truly been referencing a lot of shapes and patterns from carpets.

My heritage is showing! Without even knowing it, I am passing down the meaningful shapes of those who came before me.