Just Dive In: Learn to Draw and Find New Self Confidence
Cat Bennett sets out a novel way of learning to draw. She goes further into art as personal development, self expression, release, relaxation and source of self-confidence.
Unlike most drawing courses there is not a shaded sphere or vanishing point to be seen. The Confident Creative is more about self expression than technique. It encourages the readers and students to find their own personal route to find the creative within. It is an approach that Cat Bennett has refined with The Saturday Morning Drawing Club in Boston whose work is used lavishly to illustrate the book.
A Drawing Course that Promotes Self Expression before Technique
The Confident Creative provides a framework for the course based on three broad steps:
- Making Marks – simply enjoy making marks on paper just like a child and go wherever the mood takes the reader. Just feel the pen, paper or whatever and do something free and without judgement
- Drawing What We See – is about freely drawing what we see, seeing is the larger part in the belief the hand will follow and draw what the eye sees. It is not about producing fine draughtsmanship but a sense of what is viewed that satisfies the student.
- Drawing from Imagination – is about freeing the mind and enjoying wherever the creative mind goes.
The rest of the book is concerned with providing tips, approaches and materials to explore and the philosophical and spiritual aspects of drawing and how it leads to confidence and relaxation.
Removes Judgemental Aspects that Get in The Way of Learning New Skills
Cat Bennett stresses the need to eliminate the judgemental process that tells adults they cannot draw (or whatever) and go back to a childlike exploration of what the student can do. By freeing the learning process from that inhibition the student can simply start making marks on paper, after all that is all drawing is, it is not a matter of life and death.
As a result students who draw regularly will find they can draw far better than they imagined and in a way that is personal to them. Therefore Cat Bennett suggests readers should make a short, formal and daily appointment in their diary to just draw. With a formal appointment in the diary it means that it will take a conscious decision to cancel it for something else.
Meditation and The Spiritual Aspects of Drawing and Making Art
The Confident Creative suggests that drawing, and making art generally, has yoga-like spiritual and meditative aspect to it. By this Bennett means that the concentration that takes place when fully involved in drawing provide a single point of focus which is common to yoga and meditation generally. It is what sportsmen call being “in the zone” where concentration is totally on the task in hand and the outside world all but ceases to exist. Those readers not into spiritual matters should not be put off as it is an interesting idea that is not over-played so it does not get in the way of following the drawing course
Childlike Fun and Enjoyment of Drawing for Oneself.
Above all this course is for the individual to take what they wish from it. The experienced artist will find it useful to liberate themselves from their entrenched views and ways of working, as way of refreshing their own art. For the newcomer it allows them to practice and find an approach to drawing or art that suits them, primarily at a personal level. If others like it so much the better but first and foremost it is for the artist's owns enjoyment.
The Confident Creative goes beyond art. It is also about finding oneself and thereby finding pleasure in doing something absorbing. From that will come new creativity, confidence and self-esteem that will carry over into all aspects of life. And it is great fun as well!
The Confident Creative, Drawing to Free the Hand and Mind(2010, ISBN: 978-1-84409-185-0) by Cat Bennett, a Boston based illustrator, artist and teacher is published as a paperback by Findhorn Press at £8.99 ($14.95)
As part of Cat Bennett’s teaching and desire to liberate people from their inhibitions that prevent them expressing themselves she will running a London Weekend Retreat at Covent Garden’s Dragon’s Hall on 25-26 September 2010. These form part of a programme of creative exploration where Bennett seeks to use drawing as a means of finding the creative within and liberating the mind through drawing and the philosophy of the Confident Creative.