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The Studio Chronicles by Luisa

Dance Writing or Dance Drawing?

published2 months ago
3 min read

Hello Reader,

I'm back in your inbox with some more questions. It's basically all I do. 😊

Why do we forget that everything… everything begins with movement? The smaller the movement, the less the expression.

I am guilty of being static for too long. I can sit at my table for hours immersed in the materials, the nitty gritty of the technique and the result of it.

I've been thinking how sometimes a book can have all the answers, but I’m quick to forget about it. The books Trust the Process and Imagination in Action by Shaun McNiff are such books. I read Trust the Process around 2016 or maybe even earlier. For a week, I adopted some of the advice.

I began to move my body in a sort of dance. Everything I did was tinted by a small wave instead of a robotic up-down-left-right. It also made me remember a life-altering workshop I did with Margie Gillis. (Please click on this video and be moved to tears!)

Then, of course, I forgot about it.


A few days ago, as I submerged myself into watercolour again, I observed how my brushwork was a substitute for my need for movement.

I don’t dance, which may be due to being bullied into dancing by my family. At every reunion: why don’t you dance? Go on, come on, why won’t you? While everyone else was just sitting around. Like they wanted me to be the entertainer. So I never did.


But that doesn’t mean I don’t love to move. I don’t do it for “fun.” I do it for the feeling of it.


Painting and drawing, writing and mark-making are a form of dance. However, when using watercolours, I tend to focus on the artwork, not the movement itself. I’m not a big fan of letting the paint do whatever (sometimes yes, but after a little while, I need to give it direction.)

Asemic Writing

So Asemic Writing is where I go when I need those dance moments. I see a dance between my eyes, my arm and the ink. I can put on some music and follow it along. A calligraphic line that runs around like a mad creature, and nobody cares. Sometimes, if I feel brave, I will pull out a large cartridge paper and write-draw with a big Chinese brush.

I don’t show these works much; they are my little therapy.

They come from emotion, dance, ink, writing, mystery (what does it say?), manuscript, shape, all of those are accessed through Asemic Writing.

Have you ever tried it?

On a recent morning, I did some body movement, and I wanted to capture a few reference images as well. Although, I was surprised that I didn’t find the photos awkward, I thought: his movement is the same movement I use in my artwork.


It made me think about freedom and how it has lost its value as a word and a concept. For some, freedom means going anywhere, anytime, and being untethered to the system. For others, it means doing whatever they want, no matter the consequences for themselves or others.

Personally, freedom is discovering space around me, negative space I guess. Everything that is not there. So when I move my body, I feel the negative space, the air and the invisible energies surrounding me. And when I do dance-writing or Asemic Writing, I feel the same. So I respect certain spaces, from the tiny loops and dashes to the large spaces I decide to leave out.


This type of art is not widely known or popular, which is what makes it so attractive to me. We all need secret, grounding practices.

All you need is a pot of ink, a writing implement, a few sheets of letter-sized paper and yourself.

Elsewhere

  • I insist, watch the video. Then move.
  • I'm updating Patreon again and now, for new subscribers you will be billed on the date you subscribe. You don't have to wait until the 1st of the month. Sadly this doesn't apply to existent subscribers.
  • I received lovely comments about Oil Pastel Freedom, seeing my student's work is so rewarding! If you're a student, remember you can post your questions in the special forum and you get feedback from me :)
  • Have you watched the documentary about Hilma af Klint? Her observation of the world is beyond words.
  • A great collection of videos I like to draw from.

Thank you for reading and as usual, my inbox is open!

Best,