What if Wednesday: Keep My Eyes Closed

What if I keep my eyes closed while I draw?

I really wanted to know what my hands would do if I closed my eyes and drew only what I felt. I started

(c) 2014 Amanda Balough

(c) 2014 Amanda Balough

timidly on scrap cardstock with 2 drawing pencils, a 7H and a 5B. I had no idea what to do! I had no image in my mind, and I felt lost for a bit. And then my fingers knew what to do and just drew, and listened, and felt. I tried some blind shading by varying the pressure and blending with my fingertip. I opened my eyes and saw this. (photo right)


(c) 2014 Amanda Balough

(c) 2014 Amanda Balough

I was feeling braver so I got out a nice sheet of 9×12 heavy drawing paper and started again with my eyes closed. I kept one pencil on the left, and the other on the right so I knew which one I was using. I used the same two pencils, one hard and one soft. But I did not open my eyes until this is what I created. I felt along the edge of the paper to know about where I was. It was exciting, thrilling even! To have my inner critic removed, to have absolute freedom, to have no goal and no worries. I seriously felt an adrenaline rush.


Ooh. I liked what was taking shape here. I have always wanted to explore more abstract styles and get away from drawing something recognizable, but I have never known how to start. I think I found out how to start!

So I got out another blank 9×12 paper. And this time I wanted something I could really feel. Yup. Pastel time! I chose 5 colors, all in the blue, green, aqua side of the world. I did look at which color I was choosing, and in between photos here I sprayed with a light fixative before closing my eyes and working again. The sun came out for a glorious few minutes to help me take that glowing final picture. It is gone again already, of course, this is Ohio in February. I also figured out how to add the series as its own gallery – enjoy!

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My mind is swirling from today’s experiments. I have never felt so free, creative, and energized. Now I get to clean up the blue dust all over my house, mouse, keyboard, and camera. No worries though, it isn’t the first time, and certainly won’t be the last time that I have covered every surface of a room with such a mess, err, I mean creativity. So I can’t blame having my eyes closed. See my blue hand and the blue dust on the floor below my desk.

Feeling the blues today. (c) Amanda Balough

Feeling the blues today. (c) Amanda Balough


4 thoughts on “What if Wednesday: Keep My Eyes Closed

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