Apr 22 • 11M

#21 Getting Griddy with Agnes Martin

Creating a simple drawing can become a sublime experience

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DrawTogether
The world's first drawing podcast! Every week beloved artist and kids drawing teacher Wendy Mac offers a bite-sized, no-experience-required interactive art adventure - all you need is a piece of paper and pen. We learn about art and artists and some drawing skills, while building curiosity, confidence and connection. For kids (of all ages.) https://club.drawtogether.studio
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DrawTogether hereby officially proclaims the 3rd week of April “Agnes Martin Week!”And to celebrate, in the podcast we explore of the work of this legendary artist and draw with a similar technique she used in many of her paintings. Press play and let me know how you grid goes.

Get ready to Grid, friends.

Agnes Martin’s large, square abstract paintings (which are often drawings) appear simple and clean. I mean really, they’re just criss crossing lines on a canvas, right? They don’t LOOK like anything. But somehow they hold our attention and vibrate with a calm energy. They are filled with beauty and joy. And while they might not be a drawing OF something, they FEEL like something. Her painting “Summer” feels like summer. Her painting “Mountain” feels like a mountain. How is that possible?

Agnes Martin, Mountain

Perhaps what goes into a painting determines what comes out… (Yup, we talk about this in the podcast.)

Look closely at this painting by Agnes Martin titled Summer, and you’ll notice there’s not one perfect line. Just an artist doing their best to be present, and put all their joy and attention and feelings of Summer into a painting.

Agnes Martin said “There’s not such thing as a perfect painting.” And while we might be tempted to try to “get it right” when drawing straight lines, grids and dots, perhaps what makes her work - and our drawing exercise this week - so satisfying is the impossibility of perfection, and the way each of our drawings end up becoming uniquely our own.

Agnes Martin, Frienship

If you’re doing this exercise with kids or a classroom, this is a great opportunity to refute fussiness and embrace mistakes. The imperfections are truly what makes this simple drawing special. Also, deep breathes, shaking out extra energy and sound effects never hurt.

Agnes with her T Square in her New Mexico studio.

When we learn about an artists life, we unlock a whole new dimension to their art - we get to see it in a whole new way. This is doubly true with Agnes Martin. While I talk a bit about Agnes’ life in the podcast while we’re drawing, I’ll share more in the subscriber email in the coming days, along with the transcript of the podcast.

(If you would like a transcript of the DT podcast and aren’t able to make it happen right now, write us and we’ll comp you. No barriers to art!)

Alright, grab your pencil, maybe a ruler, and I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

Pencils up, friends! Everything is better when we DrawTogether,

w