I was recently asked if I ever draw from imagination. My initial reply was no. I said this because I don’t invent an imaginary landscape or cityscape. Therefore I don’t use my imagination. But this didn’t feel right to me so I looked up the word. The oxford dictionary says
* 1.1 The ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful.
* 1.2 The part of the mind that imagines things.
The way I find ideas is I see something which grabs my imagination. This could be from a place I have visited or a film I have seen. It could be watching my daughter dance. Whatever it is I’m drawn to, it is always something that I love and wonder about. It is a feeling that sparks my imagination and I think about how I would put this on a canvas or in my sketch book. My aim is to convey the ‘wonder’ into a drawing/sketch/painting to make people see how I feel about the subject.
I have photographic references and that will be the starting point. Then my imagination comes into play when I transport myself into the scene. I imagine the scene in deep violet and lemon yellow. Thinking how flicks of white create reflections and draw the eye in. Dark shadows will intrigue the eye and make the viewer wonder what is beyond the darkness. I think about guiding the viewers eyes around the painting and drawing them into the scene. I consider the emotions and feelings my work will portray. Is this not using my imagination?
Surely every artist uses the mind to imagine and picture images. Surely every artist is creative and therefore uses imagination. Imagination is a skill in itself to be practiced.
It is not that I draw or paint from imagination but I draw and paint with imagination. You can quote me on that.
I would love to hear your opinion.