Monday, December 15, 2014

Random thoughts on the so-called logic/ intuition divide

I jotted down these rough notes some time ago, I think it was when I was really wiped out by the sinus infection. I intended to work it up and polish it before posting, but I like the directness and punchiness of it, so I'll just throw it down as is:

Gestural/expressive is accessed through the other ‘side’ of the mind from logical/rational/structural.

It falls along the same divide as what is commonly referred to as left and right hemispheres and what seems to largely correspond with conscious and unconscious thought.

Hard if not impossible to access both simultaneously, must switch gears. Materialism, reasoning, science/ religion, spirituality, emotion.

These two sides are often seen as opposites as if you must choose one over the other and remain that way always - which is an impossibility. Even Spock was half human, and Kirk used logic and reason at times - and the best moments were always because Spock revealed his emotions or intuition. It’s not as simple and divisive as that. Embrace both, try to find ways to help them merge and work together or cooperatively rather than artificially separating them and seeing them as opposites.

I think the way to get them closest is to absorb the conscious part through repetition until it sinks into the unconscious. That can be done - I don’t think it works the other way. So all the structural stuff - the measuring and guidelines, the tubes and cubes etc - practice it until it becomes intuitive. Then you can stop drawing all the guidelines and rely on intuition, though I assume you’ll still need to pay attention as you go to make sure you’re not losing sight of proportions and structure. But you shouldn’t need to draw out the guidelines anymore, at least most of the time, though I’m sure it will be necessary for some difficult situations.

Structural drawing, perspective, calculating values and colors, measuring proportions and charting anatomy. All very logical left-brain stuff. Can be taught and learned and practiced and memorized. Unlike the intuitive stuff - the stuff some people like to remind us over and over that ‘can’t be taught’. I guess these teachable, memorizable skills are what we know as the fundamentals. In our student years we need to work on them as much as possible, getting fully acquainted with each of them and impressing them into muscle memory and into the unconscious awareness where they can filter into right brain intuitive awareness. After drawing enough bodies in terms of tubes and cubes, you understand the structure well enough that you don’t need to draw it out anymore, and you can start to work more gesturally while still incorporating at least somewhat decent proportions and structure.

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