Thinking through Drawing @ SUNY New Paltz

Exploring how drawing can materialize and extend our ideas and perceptions of ourselves, others and the world around us.

Category: Presentations and Workshops

Thinking through Drawing 2020: Drawing Together! postponed til 2021

Postponed till October 2021

October 16-18th 2020

SUNY New Paltz students and faculty across disciplines will gather alongside local, national and international artists and educators to explore the potential of thinking through drawing together to harness the power of our collective imaginations.  Sharing practice and knowledge will engage, inspire and transform the ways we think about drawing as a tool of thought.

Cheryl Wheat: Auspicious Mark and the language of drawing

auis “bird + specio” to inspect

In ancient Rome the will of the gods was determined by looking for signs usually in the flight of birds. There was a ritual for all bird auspices. This divination is what religion meant to the Romans.
In this workshop we will discuss and explore drawing practices concepts and drawing conventions. The aesthetic basis and shared languages of drawing sculpture and architecture in western art will give us a deeper understanding of drawing’s formal and expressive capabilities as a poetic language.
As a group we will experiment by drawing along together; to gain an understanding of how somatic marks lines and form concepts such as the circle ellipse sphere and egg apply themselves to the complexity of the figure as an analogous language.
The drawing of the circle is a subject that weaves itself throughout art. Plato tells us the circle represents the soul. Giotto claims that to draw a circle is a mark of mastery. We will complete our workshop by approaching the essential subject of drawing through the practice of the Enso circle.

Chris Moffett & Helen Singh-Miller: The Course of Improvisation

This workshop posits improvisation as a subtle art of moving through constraint and freedom, responding to the needs and potential of the moment. In drawing, scores and protocols adapted from the fields of dance and movement awareness propel inquiry along the following lines: What might the initiation of improvisation entail? In what sequences and across what thresholds can we engage internal and external impulses? How do we transition from one kind of improvisational exploration to the next, phase shifting and elaborating an accessible path or field for participants? How might we curate improvisational experience, and how does improvisation jive with other modes of independent and group learning?

Helen and Chris are founding members of the collective ARE, exploring the aesthetics of embodied experience in museums, universities and non-traditional organizations. Chris is Visiting Assistant Professor in Art Education at the University of North Texas, researching the underlying forms of education–sitting in a chair, for example, or refusing to sit still. Helen is a Visiting Lecturer at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where she teaches in Studio Foundation, Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM) and Art Education, and runs the Storefront for Somatic Practice in Cambridge, MA.

Marta Cabral: Material inquiry in-tension: Draw with the flow

Authors:  Marta Cabral and Sean Justice (Material Inquiry)

Before Artificial Intelligence (AI) there was current. The flow of electrons in and through matter governs the emergence of life itself. The controlled flow of those electrons changed societies, and the planet.

This workshop challenges us to visualize and spatialize the current. Not so much to understand it or restrain it, but to learn to embrace its affordances to generate and grow new capacities for meaningful engagement. Using bare copper wire, batteries, and LED lights we will explore lines and shapes in interaction with flow, tension, and structure. Can we draw and be drawn to / for / with / by that flow?


Anne Deutsch: Drawing for Student Engagement and Learning

How can we use drawing in the classroom to lay the groundwork for learning?  Anticipatory sets, often called hooks, engage the attention of students while activating existing knowledge – two crucial components of learning.  Drawing enables learners to examine their understandings from a unique perspective.  In this interactive workshop participants will engage with and create anticipatory sets that incorporate drawing.

Barb Seigel and Denise Easton: Practicing Organization Awarefulness 

What is The 1 Step you can easily take to improve any group’s performance? Build on the dynamics of group communication. By looking below the tip of the iceberg, we explore visual engagement especially drawing as a powerful tool for the exchange of knowledge and shared understanding by surfacing ambiguity and emergent thinking. The simple act of constructing and deconstructing images both individually and as a group offer valuable insights into group agreement and collaboration. Barb Siegel and Denise Easton use visual engagement and drawing in the organizational and business environment to help groups understand and work within complex environments. This workshop will touch on three of the five elements of the Organization Awarefulness Practice: Visual Engagement, Deep Listening, and Somatic Attention.

Joshua Korenblat: Goethe’s Way of Seeing

In this drawing workshop and discussion, we’ll practice Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s way of seeing, which he called “tender empiricism.” Today, Goethe is most famous for his Romantic Era literary works, written in German. Yet as a polymath, Goethe also developed his own way of science, which is less well-known today. He founded his way of science on a different type of observation, rooted in the sensory world and visualization techniques. According to traditional scientific concepts of empiricism, a strict subject and object duality occurs. This duality enforces an objective way of looking at the world, popular in science. In Goethe’s way of seeing, the subject is vulnerable to being reshaped by what the eye sees and understands—even to the extent where the subject-object duality blurs. Goethe believed that we can only experience an authentic insight this way. Goethe cautioned against leaving behind an original experience, with all of its phenomena, for abstraction—as Newtonian science does, for instance, with light. This way of seeing is an early example of ecological thinking. Goethe also resonates with ancient principles of visualization, which play out in the mind’s eye even as the visualization becomes an instrument of understanding. Through drawing plants, we’ll practice the four steps of the Goethean method: Exact Sensorial Perception, Exact Sensorial Imagination, Encountering the Whole and Becoming One with the Phenomenon. We’ll share our drawings and then discuss them. Goethe’s visualization method will serve as an inspirational example rather than a prescriptive one. Here, we’ll emphasize what we can learn about thinking through drawing—and ecological thinking in particular—by bringing to life Goethe’s way of seeing.

Andrea Frank and Michael Asbill: TIME DRAWING – a System Drawing Session 

Presentation: Oct 5

Developed by Andrea Frank, System Drawing is an intuitive and process-based collaborative format which supports new ways of intuitively connecting and interacting with place, a chosen theme, and each other while sidestepping current paradigms based on rational inquiry. It is site– and situation specific, constantly evolving, and draws on processes borrowed from drawing, systemic constellations, and simulation games. A set of site specific tools, materials, or rules are provided. The System Drawing format is thematically framed by pressing environmental concerns seen through a multi-species social, historical, ecological, and psychological lens.


Workshop: Sunday, October 6   9:30-12:30 pm

By Andrea Frank with Michael Asbill and Amanda Heidel (I will never know this garden collaborative)
System Drawing session will take place in the campus woods and fields. We will collectively and experientially draw and explore the evolving interrelations between human and non-human beings, technology, objects, and concepts through deep time. 

Rain or shine, bring appropriate clothing and a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.


Joyce Yu-Jean Lee: Embodying Empathy through Durational Drawing

Can drawing enable empathy? In an effort to explore this question, I embarked on a durational drawing during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. As a citizen of color from an immigrant family, I performed a 28-day drawing vigil for Muslims who were targeted with hate speech. Inspired by the patterns of middle-eastern prayer rugs, I traced my posture of prostration onto 60 feet of paper to explore the discipline of meditation through drawing. How can drawing be used as a tool of observation and compassion for the experiences of others? Does the duration of a drawing act change our body and it’s capabilities for transcendence?

Emily Sheehan: Personal Practice

Thinking through Drawing board member, Emily Sheehan, will discuss the drawing processes and reasoning used in her work and then lead a material focused participatory workshop.

From Emily:

The process of perceptual drawing has always fascinated me.  Drawing from observation demonstrates how slippery and shifting my viewpoint is, and exposes the parameters of experience that are created by my body.  The way I understand the appearance of anything (everything) is tethered to my literal point of view. A thousand tiny changes affect what I see. It turns observational drawing from an objective transfer, to a creative endeavor that involves artistic choices based on my experience of the subject.

I find that the time spent drawing from observation holds me in the human space between encounter and recounting longer and thus provides a conducive context for contemplating lived experience. In this workshop I will share insights and methods that I have discovered and used in my personal drawing practice and demonstrate a variety of unconventional drawing processes that I have used in my work.


Workshop participants will have the opportunity to experiment with the following drawing techniques:

  • Drawing with obstructed vision.
  • Graphite monotypes and dry-point graphite etchings
  • Drawing with quickset concrete
  • Metal point drawing
  • Drawing on a surface that can be sanded – Priming paper with plastic wood filler
  • Graphite printing using transparent tint-base
  • Destabilizing ink-lines with colorless blender fluid



Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

Skip to toolbar