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Subconscious Drawing: Channeling Chihuly

This abstract doodle art was made when I was half-asleep sipping coffee on a Sunday morning, about a week after seeing a Dale Chihuly exhibit.

abstract line drawing with fluid movments
Abstract Drawing from the Subconscious, Angie Durbin

I was zoned out to my favorite music and had no conscious thoughts of Chihuly's work or the exhibit while I was drawing, and wasn't looking at any references of his artwork. 

Many times when I’ve gone back to look at piece of art that I’ve made, I have found unintended resemblances of something that was on my mind, fascinating faces and creatures, or a reference to my surroundings even though I wasn’t paying attention or even looking up.

When I looked at the drawing in my sketch journal a few weeks later, it became clear to me that I had picked up on the fluid glass forms, striations, and movements. It all stuck in my subconscious and carried right through to the composition.

I remember that when I left the exhibit I actually saw Dale Chihuly himself, reading the paper and eating a sandwich at a sidewalk cafe! I wonder if that made his artwork stick in my subconscious brain even more?

The funny thing is, if I had consciously tried to replicate the "feel" of his artwork with an abstract pattern, I don't think it would have worked as well.

I would have over-thought it, over-studied every visual I could find first, and used my analytical brain too much.

It would have felt like a stressful "right or wrong" assignment instead of a leisurely mark-making art experience with absolutely no goal in mind except to draw and relax.

It's by far not an exact replica, but when I overlapped it onto this sculpture, I saw that there were unmistakable resemblances to the twisted glass flourishes especially at the top. The original doodle has never been retouched or manipulated.

This particular piece of Dale Chihuly's art can be found at Schantz Galleries.

The main takeaway for me was that if we allow ourselves even 10-15 minutes of quiet doodle drawing time once in awhile, it can allow for the fleshing out of visuals and inspirations that are lingering in our brain even if we don't realize they're there.


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