ViewPoint by Michelle Rodes
A gesture is a small action that makes a meaningful impact. When we feel strongly about another person, we might say with a card or flowers what we are embarrassed to say outright. The less we say, the more impact we make. Give a piece of chocolate and you are on your way.
Gestures in art works the same way. In gesture drawing we find a mental and physical state that is relaxed and loose. We use the medium to make simple, quick, fluid marks that “capture” the subject. A few simple lines can tell the whole story.
As a musician practices scales, an artist does gesture sketches before embarking on a longer painting. We go after the essence of the form and sometimes the gesture in and of it self can be extremely beautiful. Like a memorable moment a gift is received, versus a lifetime of shared days. The gift giving marks a moment when we recognize our life together and what it means.
Some artists find gestures challenging perhaps because not every drawing turns out. We fear, “how can I capture the feeling?” If it doesn’t look “good” it could have the opposite effect than we intend. I think we are sure to fail if we judge our selves too much in the process of art making, for we might quit before we even start. We have to open our heart, mind and intentions, and just give it our best shot!
We don't know how the gesture will turn out, and we really can't control it very much. What we can control is our actions, with each try, one at a time, with genuine thoughtfulness and practice seeking the essence. If we can express our impressions and feelings with a lasting mark, then we can call it art.
What I love about illustration is the marriage of pictures with words. A blog puts the two together so well! Which one makes the point come across better?