Sunday, 25 January 2015

Walking and drawing

I spend a lot of time walking and drawing. My own practice is quite traditional, I walk through Leeds and when I see something that chimes with what I'm trying to do in the studio, I draw it. Other artists are much more focused on the activity of walking and its potential as a way of marking the landscape itself. 

It was Richard Long that first alerted me to the potential of drawing by walking. I first saw his black and white photograph of 'a line made by walking' in an exhibition when I was at college. I realised at the time how liberating this was, you could could just do artworks anywhere and with no specialist equipment. Between hitchhiking lifts, he had stopped in a field in Wiltshire, once there he walked a straight line backwards and forwards until the flattened turf became a visible line. He then photographed what he had done. 

Richard Long: A line made by walking

I was occasionally doing some work for Keith Arnatt at the time and he was also making interventions into the world and photographing them. I helped him get his shadow drawn round and filled in when I was a student. He died a few years ago and this work now has an emotional resonance for me, his shadow still standing, frozen, like a soul trapped in the walls of the old sculpture annex in Bolt Street, Newport, which like Keith is now long gone. 

Keith Arnatt: Portrait of the Artist as a Shadow of his Former Self 1969–72

Arnatt did some very interesting work using snow back in the 1960s. He laid coloured neons in lines over the moors, locating them in shallow trenches and then when it snowed he turned the electricity on, the snow would then glow in coloured lines. I thought this the most beautiful drawing I had ever seen at the time. He showed it to us during a seminar in 1970. 
The images below are of Arnatt doing his self-burial piece, another seminal work from about 1969. 

Simon Beck is another artist who has grasped the potential of snow as a blank canvas and his complex patterns of footsteps have been trod all over the snow spots of Europe. 

Simon Beck

Beck will walk patterns into sand as well, I'm pretty sure he also does crop circles, because they all have similar patterns. The point being as long as you can make a mark and photograph it, you can be as ambitious as you want.  

Earth art began in the 1960s and Smithson's 'Spiral Jetty' is a classic example of making a drawing using the materials of the landscape itself. Earth moving equipment being his drawing tools, rather than pencil or charcoal. 

Nothing is new of course and the Nazca lines below were made thousands of years ago in Peru and are sometimes over 600 feet longThey are shallow lines made by removing surface pebbles and uncovering the light coloured ground beneath. Some are simple lines or geometric shapes; others are animals such as birds, fish, llamas, jaguars, monkeys, or human figures. If you have never come across them before they are worth a close study. 

Aerial view of a Nazca humming bird drawing

Yellow lines

George Musgrave came up with the idea of the yellow line. (Another character worth exploring; he had his own museum) The sign of the yellow line has been put to use all over the world,  it takes the idea of line as boundary and adds yet another layer of meaning. Line becomes a sign of forbidden territory or transgression. If these lines were discovered by another civilisation in a thousand years time, how would they be read? We realise they are to help keep traffic flowing, but another culture might look at our society and point out that these lines celebrate the power and status of the car within our society. They may mistakenly think this was abstract art. The Nazca lines would have had a clear use and understanding within their society, but we are so distant and so culturally different from them that it is virtually impossible to understand how the drawings were used and what they meant. 

The drawing of lines outdoors on roads or across grass is associated with particular sets of tools. 

Some professions are centred around the daily reality of walking and drawing, their lines although signifying important things are never thought of as art. 
Drawing in the street is always culturally very interesting. Our own culture seems preoccupied with direct messages about where you can and can't go, but if you compare this to Kolam drawings which are made by south Indian women with rice or chalk directly onto the street that is outside their homes, these geometric shapes, (again lines and dots) are thought to bring prosperity to homes. Every morning in Tamil Nadu women draw kolams on the ground with white rice flour. These drawings of course get walked on and disturbed by all the activities of a busy day but new ones are made the next morning. 

In the kolam patterns, many designs are derived from magical motifs and abstract designs blended with philosophic and religious motifs which have been mingled together. Motifs may include fish, birds, and other animal images to symbolize the unity of man and beast. Also used are designs for the sun, moon and other zodiac symbols. The way these drawings are used is possibly similar to how the Nazca used drawings. The ritual kolam patterns created for special occasions such as weddings often stretch all the way down the street, in a similar fashion, the Nazca may have created their huge drawings to celebrate special occasions. These patterns have been passed on from generation to generation, from mothers to daughters to granddaughters and their communal production is vital to the coherence of the community. 
We do tend to forget that when we were children we were allowed to make our own drawings on the street, who has never played hop-scotch?

Children drawing on a city street in the 1950s. 

We mark territory, draw maps to help ourselves navigate through the city, draw things and people, all these different approaches will be encountered as we walk the streets, then as artists we begin to draw and whatever we do becomes part of and in dialogue with all the other ways that people are using drawing to navigate their own path through life. 

Nobutaka Aozaki, Here to There, Hand Drawn Maps of New York

Nobutaka Aozaki makes his way through the city drawing small maps on whatever is available as he goes. Gradually these build up into larger maps, similar to the way our own memory map of a city grows as we become more familiar with where we are. Think of your mental map of Leeds when you first arrived. For many students it is a line drawn between the rail or coach station and the university sector, with an off-shoot that links in wherever student accommodation is. However by your second and third year that map has grown and expanded. 


In the 1960s Stanley Brouwn used to walk the city asking to be directed to where he wanted to go, when he stopped people he would give them paper and something to draw with and ask them to make small maps for him. These he stamped with 'THIS WAY BROUWN'. He is a very interesting artist to research, as much for his attitude to art making as for the works he produced. He was a rarity in that he would not allow biographical information to be given out at exhibitions, wanting the work to speak for itself. 


Sharyn O’Mara makes 'Walking Drawings'. These drawings explore the nature of the spaces in between places. Made while walking from one place to another, the only structure to the drawings is the movement of the pen from left to right on the page, a reference to western language. She states, "I draw without looking at the page, simply holding pen to paper and allowing line to document the movement of my body through space. Lines jump and meander, dots indicate moments of pause or shift." See 

Sharyn O’Mara: Walking Book

There is a Lancaster University research project looking at how drawing can be taken out into other spaces. See Walking the Line is a research project that "investigates artists and creative practices that transport drawing into unusual, and challenging situations, both conceptual and actual." 

I have already looked at how Francis Alys walked the boundary line between Israel and Palestine with a green tin of paint in his hand, which steadily dripped out as he walked. See.

The Green line is a military term that is used to describe a "temporary" buffer zone between two fighting sides. Walking can be a very political act. Where you walk may transgress someone else's idea of property, or you may trespass or go into areas 'not for you'. The city of Leeds now has many areas deemed 'private property' which I used to think of as places for free public access when I first came to the city. For instance 'the Light' was an open street but  when we tried to draw in there last year the students were turned away because it wasn't allowed by the centre's management. 

Whatever you may get from this post, the central concern is to make sure you go out into the world and think about how your work can benefit from a bit of fresh air. If stuck for something to do, go for a walk. 

Patrick Ford (an ex LCA student) has been making some really interesting map work in response to walking around the city of Saigon. You can find an article on his work in the Interdisciplinary journal of critical cartography. Find the full text here.

See also:

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Drawing in colour

I've just been looking at the pastel drawings of Ken Kiff and was reminded that as drawing students you don't have to avoid colour. In particular pastel is a wonderful medium to work with if you want to work in that territory that sits between drawing and painting.

Ken Kiff

Kiff's images often suggest dream journeys or adventures, with himself as protagonist. A good introduction to his work is to look through 'The Sequence', a body of work that is allegorical in nature and which deals with actual and imagined situations. He worked at the interface between perceptual experience and how stories and memory reshape and re-work our inner dreamscape. He spent time undergoing psychoanalysis and used this to help him understand how and why he could and should tap into his unconscious.  

Paula Rego is another artist who uses pastel, this time building complex narratives based on memories and thoughts about her own life, these biographical images are often drawn directly from situations she constructs in the studio.

This image (above) is useful as it allows you to see how Rego's studio is set up.  On the left is the construction of a 3D assemblage to work from, this as a working method is often used by artists to give veracity to their drawing. The use of large scale drawing boards and very solid easels to support them is also important, these basic things mean that she can work effectively on large sheets of paper, as it allows her to stand back from the image and see what she is doing. She also uses 'live' models, they will be posed in amongst the constructions, the grey sheet on the floor next to the stool, is probably where a model would be positioned. 

As you can see from these images Rego goes to some lengths to people her studio with characters that will appear in her large drawings. She collects dolls and mannequins as well as having puppets and stuffed figures made by other artists. 

Paula Rego

Paula Rego
“In these pictures every woman's a dog woman, not downtrodden, but powerful. To be bestial is good. It's physical. Eating, snarling, all activities to do with sensation are positive. To picture a woman as a dog is utterly believable." 
Paula Rego

Paula Rego was married at one time to Victor Willing, his pastel drawings are often of sparse 'theatrical' settings, or islands of lost objects, that sit somewhere between ideas for sculpture and thoughts for paintings. Objects and furniture 'arrive' in gallery like spaces, suggesting that these spaces are always incongruous and 'awkward', objects in galleries being like 'fish out of water', isolated perhaps as Willing felt himself to be, a victim of multiple sclerosis, the drugs for which often made him hallucinate; another source for his imagery. 

Victor Willing

Victor Willing

Victor Willing

Two 19th century artists set out a template for working in pastels. Degas and Redon. They were in some ways poles apart, Degas is all eye, an observer of life's brief moments, whilst Redon is a fantasist, a man who tried to re-create his inner visions. These drawings of women below, are typical of Degas, he is interested in holding on to the moment, capturing the intimate awkwardness of people when they are not performing, his pastel marks feeling for surface and texture, as well as locking these figures into their environment by using colour reflection. The strokes of these pastel marks are clear, working as frozen gestures, although the surface beneath them is often smudged and pushed into the ground of the paper, the drawing being layered and suggesting different degrees of touch. 



Redon is looking for an almost hallucinogenic intensity. Pastels come in a strong range of colours and he eliminates the black of charcoal from his palette. 




Kiff you could suggest is still working through the symbolic implications of Redon's approach and Rego references Degas' ability to suggest the physicality of the body. 
The ability of pastel to carry very intense colour and its natural 'soft' touch has meant that it has also been used by those artists who are romantically attracted to landscape. Loriann Signori's pastel landscapes being particularly intense examples of this approach. 

Loriann Signori

Loriann Signori

Colour in drawing is of course not restricted to working in pastel, inks and watercolour washes can be used as well as coloured pencils. The line between drawing and painting is a very flexible one and can be stretched as far as you want it to be. 



Compare these two pencil crayon portrait drawings by Elizabeth Peyton and David Hockney, Hockney uses same direction marks to sit the image in the space, but Peyton is more interested in changing direction to explore planes and volume, both mixing colours directly on the paper by laying strokes of colours alongside each other. Drawings of this sort can fade in and out of the paper support, the layering of marks adding to the way pictorial depth is created. The fading in and out can also suggest changes in focus. Change in focus when making a portrait drawing is probably at its most subtle in the drawings of Watteau. In the drawing below the chair is of least interest to him and is therefore loosely sketched in, the folds of the dress are slightly firmer, their rhythm being used to help the eyes rise towards the more interesting areas. Once we come to the face itself there is far more attention to control and detail. Look at the ear and compare the difference in how the hair is treated. The top of the head is barely there, but the small escaping curl of hair above the rise of the neck is picked out in tender detail. The rhythms of line and mark combine together with subtle changes of warm and cool applications make this a wonderful chalk portrait. 


Heiko Blankenstein uses coloured pencils, inks and ballpoint pens with which to build his complex fantasies. He also gessoes the paper so that he can get a good smooth surface to work with. 

Heiko Blankenstein: coloured pencil, ball point, ink and gesso on paper 150 x 220 cm

Heiko Blankenstein

Samira Badran is an artist who makes narrative drawings about her past relationship with occupied Palestine and how the environment and culture of that region has reshaped itself under the occupation, and eventually reshaped her poetic perceptions towards it. Often drawn on large sheets of brown paper, her work partly reflects a Western graphic tradition, (she was trained in etching) and partly one of an Islamic tradition of Persian miniature painting.

 Samira Badran

 Samira Badran 

It could be argued that all drawings are coloured drawings, every black is different, the soft greys of graphite are very different to the dark blacks of charcoal. Sepia inks look nothing like the blue black of fountain pen ink. The gradual shift from monochrome into colour is a wonderful territory to explore, but at times we all need to let colour flood back into our work. Redon is an interesting example of an artist denying colour in his work for many years, but when he did begin to use it he used it with a visionary intensity that easily matched that of his earlier black and white images. 


If you already really enjoy a rich palette of blacks, greys and whites, perhaps you ought to explore whether or not you can also work with a much wider colour palette. 

See also:

Drawing in colour part two
Drawing in colour part three
Drawing in colour part four

Colour and control

Friday, 16 January 2015

Thinking of doing an MA?

Some of you will have already applied or be thinking of applying for MAs. It's also common to have a year or two out to save money and or recharge batteries before going back into education. Whatever you might be thinking of it's important to look at what is on offer and make sure you go and visit these places if at all interested in studying there because you will want to make sure the environment is right for you.
Rosie Vohra is an ex student from Leeds College of Art, who studied Fine Art and is now studying at the Royal Drawing School, she can be found here talking about her work and here talking about the difference between BA and MA.
The Royal Drawing School encourages students to get out there and draw in as many places and situations as possible, and is a wonderful MA to go on if you want to open out your drawing practice and see how you might make images in response to different ways of representing what you see.
Wimbledon also has an MA Drawing programme, this video clip will give you an idea of what goes on.
There are also MAs in drawing at Manchester  and Swindon  if you don't fancy or can't afford London.

Of course it may well be that you are more interested in a general Fine Art MA and there are lots of these about, whichever route you take make sure you do a lot of research beforehand.
Now is the time to be making a decision, some of the big institutions such as the Slade will have already closed their books for next year, but it is usually a good idea to take at least a year out before applying so that you have time to mature your practice.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Concepts and process: Mapping as translation

My last post left you with a challenge which was to develop a process that could allow you to communicate your experiences, be these emotional, experimental, perceptual or derived directly from the inner mind. So how can a process be developed? Way back in the first year you would have been given a handout that detailed a range of suggested processes or strategies of working: You can find it here:
‘Mapping’ is just one of many approaches, but of course when you look at mapping in detail it involves several quite complex moves.

I’m going to set out on a free association ramble now, so bear with me. The point being that art isn’t necessarily logical, it can be but it doesn’t have to be. My own interest in narrative comes through here, stories are powerful ways to communicate ideas and some stories are more rambling than others. 

The first and most important thing to do when you are mapping is that you need to translate the information coming from the ‘real’ world into something ‘readable’ or ‘useable’ within your communication vehicle; in this case a drawing, therefore you need a selection process. A selection process usually depends on your own particular focus. If you are interested in botanical drawing, you will walk through the city picking out places where particular plants or fungi grow, you might focus on places where plant-life has managed to co-exist alongside motorway fumes or heavy foot traffic. A notebook might look like this one below.

Constantine Samuel Rafinesque: Notebook

On the other hand someone interested in religious doctrine may look for churches, mosques and temples, as well as associated religious burial grounds, and perhaps locate these within a framework that allows them to examine any particular North, South, East or West facing bias.
Nathan Coley for instance made models from technical drawings done of every religious building he found in Birmingham.

Nathan Coley: The Lamp of Sacrifice: 161 Places of Worship, Birmingham
Once the selection process begins a second selection process comes in alongside the first; do you draw objects from observation, do you make a series of rubbings to collect surface data, do you make signs to stand for different things, (a cross for a Christian Church etc.), do you collect things found at these sites, do you make models, do you develop a photographic record, produce technical drawings, undertake a series of archeological digs or make a video of the journey between sites? This second selection process is the one that will give you some physical material to work with. However you now need to process the information gathered. This might involve ordering and selecting, perhaps locating and linking or developing hierarches of information. Whatever system you develop it will influence both the look and the form of the work, as well as locate your practice within a wider context. For instance several artists using maps have referred to Australian Aboriginal ‘Songlines’ as an ideal working methodology. Paths across the land are as important as those taken in dreams below the ground and in the sky, the ‘real’ world and its ‘dreaming’ become indistinguishable and therefore become poetically integrated into the same space. As Glowczewski states, a territory in an aboriginal painting is also a story, it can be infinitely connected with other stories and they connect each territory with all the other stories of the dreamtime.

Aboriginal dreamtime map.

From: Glowczewski, B (1991) Yapa: Aboriginal Painters from Balgo and Lajamanu Paris: Galerie Baudoin Le Bon

I have found this useful in the development of my own working processes, as I needed a way of layering memories and dreams on top of the reality of walking and drawing. However it might be that the gridding and ordering of information that is central to archeological digs is a process that allows you to develop your ways of recording and ordering information.  What might be right for myself might be wrong for you.
Another way to work is to decide on your making process right at the beginning and then apply this to whatever experience you want to use as a starting point. You can set out a way of making signs and then decide what the signs stand for. When wanting to indicate directional movement signs like these are usually quite clear; ←↑→↓, but what about signs that represent how warm or cold it is? Is warmer or cooler than ¤ ? Perhaps you need to develop new signs. Is drawing on paper the best way forward? Perhaps you need to perform in order to communicate your thoughts. Necessity is the mother of invention, and in the case below it was important for sailors to be able to communicate between ships. They were used to conventions of flag flying, for instance half mast to signify a death, and the idea of semaphore is a wonderful example of a visual language being developed that could be read at a distance. 

The artist has the advantage in that he or she can develop their own sign system. I’ve mentioned Duchamp’s ‘Green Box’ before, this is a wonderful example of an artist gathering his notational ideas about process and signification together and preserving them as a piece of work in its own right. The concepts developed by Duchamp laid the foundations for conceptual art and now, 100 years later we are still working through the consequences of his work. 

Duchamp: The Green Box notes

Processes can be imported from other disciplines, rules of engagement can come from any rule governed activity, be it a board game or a discipline like science, (the rules of experimentation), the rules of OS mapping or the rules we develop in response to our everyday habits.  

This plan of a board game comes from pre-Islamic Persia

Sometimes the loss of one faculty can lead to the development of a new language format; this can be due to accident or design.

In this case (above) a sign language was developed in order to allow the deaf to speak to each other. This graphic representation is of course a further development, the original sign languages just used hand movements and these graphic representations are very crude and can't portray how when the hands move they can also signify quality or adjectival meanings. For instance when you speak you can inflect your voice to imply further meanings or even reverse the meaning of what you are actually saying. 

So what was Duchamp’s process? The 'Large Glass' was begun in 1915, but from mid-1912 onwards Duchamp was developing the processes, studies and research methods for its various sections.  (The 'Bride', the 'Chocolate Grinder', the 'Glider' and the 'Nine Malic Moulds' ) In 1934 he published 94 documents relating to it in a flat case (The Green Box), including photographs, drawings and manuscript notes covering the period 1911-15 and later. The Glass is divided horizontally into two parts, with the female section (the Bride's Domain) at the top and the male section (the Bachelor Apparatus) below,  it is a diagram of an ironic love-making machine in which the male and female parts communicate by means of two circulatory systems, but without any point of physical contact. Amongst many other things it references alchemy, Tarot cards, Christian symbolism, symbolic perspective and the fourth dimension. This is what the original looks like.

The image below is a diagram of the work, the labelling referring to the various meanings that have been suggested or implied by reading through Duchamp's notes. 

The key or ‘legend’ to Duchamp’s work in the drawing above is I think very interesting. An illustrator has been employed to produce a diagram of Duchamp’s work and then the researcher has linked this to the areas Duchamp set out in the Green Box. The work now setting out on a new life, something Derrida would have approved of, the work is being continually re-authored each time a new researcher or historian writes another interpretation. This blog is itself another re-authoring process, new storylines being added to old ones. When we are looking at maps or diagrams, the legend is vital to their understanding. The diagram below is impossible to understand without its numbered key. But now as I write, my internal narrative logic is now linking this 'machine' drawing to Duchamp's machine thinking, above all his fascination for the 'coupling' of sex with machines. He had probably read Alfred Jarry's 'Supermale' or perhaps worked alongside a plumber, male and female joints being the bread and butter of their trade.  
I'm sure sexual innuendo has always been central to metaphoric thinking

Once you introduce it, it is hard not to think of other readings when looking at machine diagrams, but you can of course simply think of them as thinking tools. (Ouch!) 
The key or legend was what I was trying to think about, and most of us keep that key in our heads when we work, but it is still there. The ‘legend’ shapes our reading, but in the drawing above there is also a very particular space created by the conventions of technical drawing that the image floats within. The reading being a fusion between what we understand from the annotation and what we get from the image. Different types of technical drawings imply different types of space, see an introduction to technical drawing here

Thinking of keys, (and this is why this is art and not science, but allow me to ramble on), I can draw with the keys of this computer and one of the most basic ways of doing this is to make a line by pressing the hyphen key like so ----------------- or the dot key …………………….. and dots and dashes can be used to create quite complex languages. The dots and dashes system of telegraph transmission that became known as Morse Code came into being during the late 1830s and one of its earliest versions is seen in the image below in the bottom line titled "2d For Letters." 

International Morse Code (above) was devised a little later and is now a fixed set of rules and like all languages it can be learnt. It can also be used in various and ingenious ways, this artist’s book by Matthew Birchall, ‘Photograph Converted into Morse Code’, is a translation of the digital code of a photographic image file into morse.

Photograph Converted into Morse Code: Matthew Birchall
The Chauvet Cave dots and lines  are typical of some of the most commonly found symbols in cave painting. What they meant is hard to say, but I'm sure the makers of these dots had a meaning for them.  See:   
The Chauvet Cave dots

Recent neurophysiological studies have also shown that dots, dashes and zig-zags are typical of the first stage of hallucinations or visions of entoptic images, (if you get migraines, you will recognise the cut glass like circular zig-zag form that drifts in front of your vision). See:
Lines and zig-zags creating structures in the dark can be seen in the work of Nicolas Bernier. ‘Frequencies’, is an installation that links light and sound. In Bernier’s work the logic of quantum physics is extended into the audiovisual realm. Rapid bursts of white noise and sine waves trigger a zig-zag of luminous patterns in a dark space. See: Making patterns in dark spaces does appear to be something we are quite addicted to, perhaps this is why night clubs have always been so popular.

Nicolas Bernier. ‘Frequencies
Another translation system is Braille. Braille translates visual information into a tactile language. It both looks and feels convincing because it is based on a coherent and systematic logic. 
Translation between different language systems is one way of developing a process for generating new ideas. In the case below a visual language is brought together with sound and touch. By chance I discovered Braille Byzantine Music Notation, it looks like this:

By applying these braille rules and re-translating a piece of music back into English a Byzantine hymn now looks like this:
>HOS _9-! _PA4
,LORD-:>\ ,I-\ HAVE-: CRIED-,:\ UN-\5'H9 TO-[H: ,THEE-@VR 9' _P5 HEARK-@Q EN-*\# UN-*\>\1 TO-ME5\ ME-S _P5 HEARK-]<,:1 EN-MH' UN-*[>\9 TO-\\ ME-:#::>9 ,OR/E5\ ,LORD-S _P5 ,LORD-9@]6[ ,I-\ HAVE-: CREID-,:@<#\\ UN-8R1 TO-M# ,THEE-:>R 9' _G7 HEARK-,*[# EN-\\ UN-R TO-\5'H9 ME-:2+O _Z0 AT-] TEND-^U TO-\ THE-\ VOICE-:,:/\9 OF-\H: MY-O SUP-:>\ PLI-:#9 CA-R/E5\ TION-S _P5 WHEN-] ,I-[ CRY-,W\ UN-R TO-\5'H9 ,THE-]3+\:> R _G7 ,HEARK-[# EN-S UN-*\>\1 TO-M' ME-:#,UH9 ,O-S/E5\ ,LORD-!
If you then try to shape this text as spoken aloud poetry it feels very similar to sound poetry by Kurt Schwitters. Listen here:
I do realise that I’m now rambling again but finding connections and looking for new paths of thinking is what developing new concepts is all about. Remember this is not science, it is to use Alfred Jarry’s term, ‘Pataphysics’. Jarry defined 'pataphysics as "the science of imaginary solutions”.

Touch text

The tactile diagram

Another translation system that links sound to touch is the one used by player pianos.  These paper rolls when opened out are wonderful drawings. When looking at them, time extends along the horizontal axis. High pitches are at the bottom, and low pitches are at the top. Short notes relate to single holes, while sustained notes are achieved by punching a series of holes. The reason they are like this is that sustained notes were punched on a roll as a series of repeated notes, spaced so closely that air leaks around the divisions enough to keep a piano key depressed.  

The above is an early stage drawing: a composer begins to work out how their composition can be transcribed in holes. 

Molly Rausch uses player piano rolls as supports for her drawings

Player piano rolls are also a bit like timelines and timelines are also very rich areas to mine for someone interested in drawing, but this is perhaps something to open out later. In the meantime see this interactive timeline for ideas. 

Drawing is a process of thinking, a process that can generate more thinking, which can itself generate more drawing that can be used as diagrams or instructions for making things, playing games or singing songs. The process is as interesting as the final product, the two things being inextricably combined. 

Art by instruction and the prehistory of do it. See:
Lima, M (2011) Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information New York: Princedon

Rosenberg, D (2012) Cartographies of Time New York: Princeton

O’Rourke, K (2013) Walking as Mapping London: MIT Press

See also: