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Oneika Russell

whats drawing anyway.

When I went to college for budding artists, I put my silly scratchy drawings away. I did it because there came a kind of unwritten rule that drawings had to look like this and had to be done like that. I did it but I never liked it, I hated it. I didn’t see what was so great about trying desperately to mimic reality. I always found the most imaginary, idle looking images the most interesting. I can remember reading about The Twits in grade school and of course seeing Quentin Blake’s illustrations. In college of course I couldn’t quite work out how those images that I loved could find a place in my ‘repertoire’. Years after art school and slowly or quickly I put the large gestural oil paintings away and pulled out my ball pens and discovered joy in my Japanese sharp pencils. Now I find the images I am making in their scratchy linear rawness to be the things that fill my thoughts.

I remember being asked by a tutor once if I knew what drawing was. Then my response was rejected but now I see that drawing really is making a mark.