Drawing Residency and the Centipede's Dilemma

20120824-133750.jpgI was very pleased to be invited to participate in Eames Armstrong's Drawing Residency last night. I wasn't sure what to expect--'show up and draw' was the gist of the invite--but as it turned out it was exactly what I'd want out of any residency--namely a venue to draw, drink beer and have thoughtful conversations. The fact that all of this occurred on Philippa's lovely roofdeck on an uncharacteristically not-muggy August evening was an added bonus. A variety of materials were provided for the residency, but I tackled some small pieces I'd been carrying in my sketchbook, that I'd been working on in fits and starts. And I used my own pens since when it comes to my art, I am about as much as a prissy prima donna as they come. "I can’t draw that. It doesn’t interest me. I’ll only use this material and this pen, thank you very much. And this nice paper." And so forth. This can either be constued as choosing the path of least resistance or having artistic integrity, I’m not sure which.

On a related note I was pleased to find the Wikipedia page for centipede syndrome, from which I suffer tremendously when it comes to my art. Specifically it's called, The Centipede's Dilemma, which occurs "when a normally automatic or unconscious activity is disrupted by consciousness of it or reflection on it." Or as the original story goes, a centipede is asked how it walks by some other creature, and then, once it mulls over the question, finds itself unable to move.

Though I appreciate having an official diagnosis, for the most part being afflicted with the centipede syndrome is incredibly annoying. It would be far more useful to have the ability to, (to paraphrase Homer Simpson) draw something that 'looks like the way it looks like' or provide satisfying answers when people ask me questions about my work. Though at the same time, it's a good way to appreciate how marvelous and complex the human mind is, that you can allow a part of your brain that seems to have nothing to do with you to call the shots and create things.

Anyway, an exhibit with some of the work displayed from the Residency will be up at Aether Art Projects and open next Friday. More details and pictures to be come soon, but it should be a good show.