with Salgood Sam at Syn Studiosalgood@gmail.com

Tai Chi As Drawing Proprioception Tool

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Greater Hand-Eye coordination via greater physical awareness and control

One of the tools I use in the classroom version of Dynamic Drawing is to basically recreate some of the revelatory experiences I had with doing things like dancing at a live event, and then sitting down and drawing others doing the same. Explorations of full gesture and a first person experience of the movements I’m drawing.

And while never sporty, being physically active as a kid helped connect me well with the tactile, motor coordination aspects of drawing. That’s something I think even those with some handicap or late to start, can benefit in their art from the exploration of.

I chose Tai Chi specifically, because I was introduced to the basics of it as a kid, and along with yoga it made me very aware of the mechanics of my body, and how using them efficiently can result in a lot of grace. I only practice either intermittently myself as well. This isn’t something you have to master, though trying it more than once will reap greater benefits.

Our lines I often say express the intent and energy, literally, with which they are drawn. [ See my post on grip and related mechanics of drawing here.]

Fluid lines are best drawn with a relaxed fluid gesture of the arm.

Strong lines with a lot of mechanical control and confidence.

Light and delicate lines take the same in action.

That range of control is why I advocate the simultaneous practice regimes of basic drawing exercises, patterns and hatching where control is Key. And fast full dynamic gesture studies done for speed and expression first over precision. To push our range in both directions.

And for the Tai Chi session, the simple Qigong exercises and a few basic moves I think help start to make us more aware of how our body moves, and how maybe to move it with some grace. Then we immediately sit down while it’s still fresh, and try to capture on the page what we see as the instructor continues on to demonstrate a full set with and without a Taijijian and/or saber. It’s generally a very fast gesture session in any medium.

You’ll see here a set of my own studies for multiple sessions of this class at Syn Studio over the last three years. Our models are members of The Montreal Tai Chi Club! Check them out here!

 

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