I realize that most of the world does not care about American football, but our country just finished the 44th year of the National Football League’s Super Bowl match up, and lots of people in this country care a LOT! Millions of dollars’ worth of television advertisements are sold, and peripherals such as beer, TV’s, food, airline tickets, hotel rooms, sports fan paraphernalia, and who knows what-all are big business. I have never gotten too excited about football at any level- high school, college, or professional- but, sometimes I attend or watch the game on TV with friends because it is the sociable thing to do. I know there are other people who care nothing about the Super Bowl because (big coincidence here) game time is when there are big sales at stores that sell craft supplies. Anyway, we have neighbors across the street whom we adore and with whom we watch movies on a regular basis. They invited us over to watch the Super Bowl in their quarters, so we went. Seeing big guys crashing into each other trying to possess a funny-looking ball does not stimulate my reptilian brain. Nor does the deliberation and assessment which follows each play. But, the balletic grace that sometimes happens when the big, crashing guys are trying to escape with the ball, or when other big, crashing guys are trying to take possession of the ball is breath-taking. So, I decided to be sociable with the neighbors and endure a televised football game in my own way. I enjoyed spending game time seated in a cushy chair in a darkened room with sketch pad and pack of pens in my lap, doing gesture drawings of the commotion on the screen. Since I could not see my paper, only the screen, I was not aware until later that many of my marks did not register because my pen strokes were moving faster than my ink was flowing. But, the point of gesture drawings is not the finished product. Rather, the value of these drawings is in the mind’s increased ability to pick up detail and notice visual relationships in the blink of an eye. I actually become a more acute observer when my eyes and hand and brain are dancing together. By the way, I was extremely happy that the New Orleans Saints won. Anyone who has seen much of the city any time since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 would understand the feelings behind rooting for the underdog, and the joy in seeing a devastated city coming back from its distress in yet another way.
Here is one page from my sketch book. Drawings over drawings, results of my perception of complex movements that were happening faster than my eye could see them.