Drawing as a “head over heels” thought process: understanding the meaning of fragmentation in the act of drawing

Christian Montarou


This article examines the significance of free-hand drawing from perspectives that go beyond the technical considerations of perspective, proportion and chiaroscuro. These perspectives include the artist’s mental process while drawing, exploring the relationship between the artist and the artwork in order to understand the significance of fragmentation as a creative element in this process. Another perspective examines the conditions for seeing and drawing, that is, the cognitive and psychological aspects of the act of drawing. In addition, various theoretical concepts are applied to analyse the creative process. References to psychoanalysis are used to explain the state of fragmentation inherent in the condition of human beings as subjects, while language theory is applied to reveal the motives underlying the need for self-expression through drawing. Theories about mental development during childhood are applied to shed light on artistic practice and increase our understanding of the psychological mechanisms behind creativity. Finally, the “creative mode” as such is questioned: How can this state of mind be induced and what is its relevance for encouraging creative thinking? The theoretical approach is illustrated with images taken from student work at the Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), as well as my own paintings and one historical painting.


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Copyright (c) 1970 Christian Montarou

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