My art book, The Little Book of Haptic Drawing, is available in pdf format. You may download it and read it for free online (see the link above this paragraph). Although it’s not required, a small donation would be much appreciated (go to my website, Local Nomad, and scroll down to the donation button in the left sidebar). Work on the expanded print edition has been delayed, but I expect to get back on track this year.
If you do read the book, please write about it, review it (Library Thing, Good Reads, art forums, etc.), link to it, try the drawing exercises, and/or give me your feedback, which I can use as I prepare the expanded version.
What is a “haptic”? To learn more, read Eileen Tabios’ article about my haptic drawings in Our Own Voice. You can see some examples of haptic drawings on this blog.
An excerpt from the first page: The haptic [drawing] process depends upon sensory experience―interior and exterior―as a touchstone to the drawing. This does not leave out the thinking process, but it allows the senses to lead. Filipina/o Kali artist and teacher, Michelle Bautista, writes, “artists in my particular style of kali emphasize touch over sight and strive for a level of sensitivity in touch that allows them to ‘see.’ Because we emphasize the need to develop our sense of touch as much as possible, the greater the sensitivity, the greater the ‘vision’ of the world.” The term, “haptic,” has often been associated with “touch therapy,” where healing and creativity occurs through empathic touch. While we may not necessarily touch the object we are drawing, we can sensitize ourselves (through the various senses) to the object. In awareness of the drawn object and our own subjective experience (thoughts, emotions, body feelings), the body translates it all through our hands and into lines on paper.
This is not a results-oriented practice; the point is not to produce a stunning work of line art (although one may hope that the result is personally pleasing), but rather to increase awareness of the object drawn, as well as one’s own body—its creative, aesthetic, nervous and energetic impulses as it responds to objects and entities it perceives. As the drawings emerge, so does awareness of lines―the threads and connective tissue from which we record knowing and draw meaning, personal and communal―the primordial gestures and marks that make up artistic images.