15 June 2020
Free Drawing School Online Challenge led by Fabiola Carranza
Join the Free Drawing School live online every Monday at 10am.
A different drawing challenge is announced each week for you to get involved with at home between 10am-12pm guided live with an artist.
This Monday we are excited to welcome artist Fabiola Carranza. The challenge will begin at 10am with a live performance of the challenge read by Fabiola and undertaken by Glasgow based artist Erica Eyres over Instagram.
Carranza is a Costa Rican / Canadian artist based in Vancouver, Canada. She examines visual, cultural, and personal phenomena through art and writing. Fabiola obtained an MFA from the University of British Columbia and a BFA from Emily Carr University. She is also currently a PhD student in the Department of Art History, Visual Art, Theory, and Criticism at the University of California in San Diego.
Fabiola came to Hospitalfield in 2017 and was part of our Interdisciplinary Residency programme.
Erica Eyres is a Canadian artist based in Scotland. In 2004, she received her MFA from the Glasgow School of Art, and in 2019 she completed her PhD from Northumbria University. Through videos, drawings and sculptures, Eyres’ work explores narrative fallacies that complicate the viewer’s understanding of the author’s subjective truth and problematise the notion of the autobiographical.
Erica and Fabiola met in Winnipeg, Manitoba while participating in a workshop led by Chris Kraus at Plug-In Institute for Contemporary Art.
The Free Drawing School Online continues over the summer with many more challenges as we invite lots of guest artists to design the weekly challenge for you to join in with.
The Free Drawing School challenges are designed to be done at home with the resources you can bring together from your drawers and cupboards.
The details of the challenge will be announced here and on social media at 10.00am.
You will have two hours in which to complete the challenge and post your work either in the comments on the Facebook event for others to see or on twitter or instagram with the hashtag #freedrawingschool.
You can also email your outcomes to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Free Drawing School is made possible with generous funding support from The Robertson Trust and The National Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Challenge: Silly Strings
I’m excited to be leading a drawing challenge for Hospitalfield. Thank you all for taking the time to draw with me today.
The title of my contribution is “Silly Strings”.
For it, I have invited Glasgow based artist, Erica Eyres to respond to my prompts at 10am over instagram.
After you take my challenge: I encourage you to use the worksheet that Hospitalfield will provide for you at the end to devise your own challenge. I also encourage you to ask a friend to take it on, over any social platform you feel comfortable with.
It’s interesting to consider how the practice of drawing now is being transformed and amplified through social media because of our need to quarantine. With this in mind today I am asking you to challenge yourselves first with an idea, then with a drawing, or a string them.
Anything you like to draw with. It could be: pencils, pens, markers, inks, paint or charcoal. Or more obscure objects like: ash, wax, lemon rind, beet juice—you name it, if you have it floating around the house and you wish to work with it, go ahead!
Think for a second about your daily routine, about how you move about at home.Think about how you are when you are at rest. Your mind is at rest. This prompt might cause you to imagine your movements after this pandemic, or remind you of how you moved about your life before it started.
In either case, as you think of these movements, please try and imagine how they might form a series of lines that tie your days together (preferably if done for the first time) onto a single page.
As you think about this, please write down a little list answering the following:
What are some of the things you cut every day?
Do you cut these things with scissors, with a knife—or with your fingers?
Do you cut these things with say— your teeth?
Think of this experiment as some sort of vestigial platform or a pyramid scheme for loose and live drawing that will amplify your connections with friends and with your body’s relationship to space.
The drawings become portraits of you and the person taking on the challenge you create. In this case, since you are taking my challenge, the drawings become extensions of me but as you answer the above questions, you’ll start to think too about how you might ask someone else to draw the things you cut everyday. The tools you use to cut these and the movements you undertake to make these actions possible. Cutting through things, in space. This will become clearer as you read on, or as you hear my voice describe the answers I have given to these same questions.
Over the course of this challenge, I will occasionally share my pondering. For example: Do I leave behind a bite trail when I crunch through vegetables? How is this a cut. Tooth marks are drawings.
Okay, ready, let’s begin!
MY DRAWING CHALLENGE: “DRAWING AS CUTS”
1. Just for kicks chew onto something eatable and colourful and then bite into a piece of paper, then inspect this trace.
Are your teeth set wide apart? Or cramped together like mine? Do you use dentures? It’s two a.m. where I am, so if I had dentures you would know by now because I’d have taken them off before going to bed. What makes your tooth-drawings distinguishable? Or if you’re not hungry enough to eat something but want to follow my instruction anyhow:
How about putting on a bit of lipstick and kissing a sheet of paper a few times?
I really like these mouth-tooth-drawings, especially when people have a gap toothed smile.
Kids, if you’re listening to this or reading this, I am talking here about the kind of stamped-on kiss your grandma leaves on your cheek. Smudged and sticky. Draw it. This counts as drawing. I promise.
2. Close your eyes. Think of the way you articulate with your mouth and jaw, when you speak, when you chew, when you whistle. How might you translate the movements you make when you eat onto the page? Alternatively, ask yourselves how the same verbs we use for processing food might be applied to a drawing practice?
With that in mind… Now:
Draw me a crunch! Draw me a sliver! Draw me a shave!
I know these gestures can mean many things: A bearded man shaving his face, or a person shaving something with their teeth, as in the first exercise. But when you think about these incisions, or minor marks, please think of them as the ways to section your day into blocks:
Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Night.
Just to give you a sense, here is an example of some of the lines I draw regularly, in space, not just on the page.
These are lines I rarely think much about much but to really make this drawing challenge your own at the end, you will have to fill out the worksheet, replace my activities with yours and ask a friend to draw a response over any social media applications on your telephone, or through whatever outlet you have access too. By the time you’re through this exercise will have become a psychic exercise, a channel of interpretation. It will be as playful or as dull as you decide you want it to be, and there is room for both extremes in the outcomes. Don’t censor your possibilities. Just go for it, okay? However you take this on: Please be generous with yourselves.
In your own version of this challenge, your words will replace mine.
I go about preparing my toast. I cut through a chunk of butter; scrape on a little marmite. Leave the butter out over night so it becomes soft and spreads easily.
On a cold day: I might slide the fog or condensations off the window so I can look outside. I’d also usually pull on the elastic strings of my underwear if it feels tight.
These are minor movement lines but they are lines and movements nonetheless. I am asking you to represent any aspect of the instances I describe on the page. Squiggles, scratches, all motifs and drawing styles are welcome! As well as coming up with your own takes on the matter. Usual a.m. subjects involve tea or coffee, bathing or showers. Sleeping in…
I might cut off the cuffs on some old jeans. It’s almost summer and I wish go outside. I might cut off the sleeves of a t-shirt and parade myself about the room in a circle or two.
I might remind myself to cut off a bit of dental floss to use after lunch. Cuts, lines. Shape. The negative space on these cutting gestures seems to evolve while the positive spaces recede.
Some kind of morning my morning!
Collectively I call these kinds of lines, my movement-lines.
Back to drawing please remember—it’s the memory of your actions that you are after. Please close your eyes and allow your pencil or tool to do onto the page the same movements it engages in order to take care of your body.
This is not the avoidance of self-care but its extension made into a permanence: Back and forth, behind, beneath and on top each tooth.
3. How about drawing the pencil shavings from those pencils you use to take notes with? Arrange them into small bouquets. They’re essentially florals. Or how about drawing that old, crusty ink on the ballpoint pen you grabbed at the last minute to write down a take-out order. Jolt down your phone number, jolt down just the number of digits it takes you to remember the whole number.
The bread, cut. Jam. Spread.
4. Draw these motions:the sorting of seeds or beans
the blending liquids with a spoon
WHEN IT IS DINNERTIME
Blend. The porridge.
Fantasize about eating hamburgers…
Draw burgers. A good stack of them.
This is habitually a woman’s world You’re all invited to occupy.
A New motherless birth
Racism is Pandemic: Smeared. Spread. Please Destroy It!
6. Draw your next meals:
Corn flakes for breakfast
sandwiches for lunch
What toppings? Draw some toppings.
7. Draw: Alchemy. The garden
Pull on a carrot or on a leek I hope you feel dietary
8. Draw: The stem, start or stop bit of each thing you already drew.
The end bit of a banana or its peel. Make the drawing ferment.
9. Draw: Each day you see and saw cut with a line
10. Draw a pillow! Your hands in space convey and converge.
Some call it prayer. I call it stretching. Please stand up. Feet at shoulder width. Arms stretched in front of you. Keep your gaze ahead. Allow your hands to yield a broad range of movements across the space in front of you. Extend your shoulders forwards. Slowly, start to wiggle your fingers while you walk your arms in all directions, keep your gaze ahead. You will notice that you are likely able to see your fingers wiggling further away, going across, then going up and down. That is because this exercise tests the range of your peripheral vision.
Draw the outline of your peripheral vision.
This line is unique to you. This line drawing is basically a self portrait of the chamber of your eye.
Look again at the full range of drawings that a day of movement-memories has generated.
You’re done. Thanks!
The turn of the knob is a line for the circumspect. Digging out soil to plant, there are lines. Busy curlicues.
 Sydney Hermant and Fabiola Carranza performing The Mexican Husband . Photo credit: Tiziana La Melia
 Shirley in the Kitchen, Erica Eyres, 2019.
Preparing for the Challenge: Silly Strings
I’m exciting to be leading the drawing challenge with you next week.
On Monday, I will be asking you to challenge yourselves first with an idea, then with a drawing, or a string of them. This challenge is titled Silly Strings. You could think of it as a manual for loose drawing.
At 10am, I will be reading the challenge as a script and I have invited Erica Eyres, whose drawing practice I deeply admire, to respond to my instructions live over instagram.
I invite you to watch this video in preparation of the challenge. It chronicles some of the elements I encountered daily during lock down.
Materials – Anything you like to draw with. It could be pencils, pens, markers, inks, paint or charcoal. Or more obscure objects like ash, wax, lemon rind, beet juice—you name it, if you feel like it, go for it! Please bring a snack too, something you can bite on, that will stain your teeth.
See you all on Monday!