"Blind contour refers to a method of drawing in which the artist draws a line and never looks at the paper. It takes what one sees with one’s eye and with study allows the hand to trace the image from one’s brain. I pursue this method because of the ways it captures the essence of my subject. The contours I draw with Xucheng pens create a sense of rhythm and movement while capturing the essence and character of the subject in a very intimate manner. I am experimenting with introducing sculptural forms into my work by projecting drawings onto large canvases; vectorizing them; and using Plexiglass, cut vinyl, and 3D printing.
Being in the NOW is a major lesson with Blind Contours. You have to cast all your concerns, all your problems and stresses (good and bad) aside and allow a line to control your movements both in your brain and hand. This is why some people dislike this exercise, and why some people are drawn to it. I love concentrating on a certain object for a small amount of time. Most of us are bombarded with overpowering images and sounds. To relax and take that time – be it in the middle of a busy brunch party, Times Square, or a library – and allow a pen to trace what you are looking at is a gift.
Although some portraits or drawings might have to be redone, most of the time the errors are what brings out the character. We are not perfect, we can’t be. To quote my friend, the performance artist Taylor Mac, 'Perfection is for Assholes.' Our world is so driven to perfection that we often stop what we are doing simply because we know we cannot be perfect at it. GO – DO IT. FAIL. Failing is just another term for perfecting an action. If your science experiment blows up, you go back and do it again, and with some more errors, you might even get it right. Enjoy being imperfect. That’s the best part about people, we can be.
My art simply shows that there aren’t any wrongs, it’s the enjoyment of figuring out how to get from point A to point B with one line without looking and creating what you see."
- Ian Sklarsky
Photo: Ron Leon Hale and Associated Press