Making Sensory Drawings by Gillian Adair McFarland



Artist Educator Gillian Adair McFarland describes how she makes her delicate drawings that can be sensed through touch.

This project was shared with AccessArt as part of the 40 Artist Educator Project, funded by Arts Council England, aiming to highlight and celebrate artist-led teaching and facilitation.

Surface Impact Drawings – Making Sensory Drawings by Gillian Adair McFarland

My resource is about the artist’s evolving thought process. Originally a painter and art therapist, I began to work like this in response to my mothers blindness and her way of experiencing things through touch. I found myself drawn to to the impact of these connections, discovering the lines of her touch on the walls of the house as she guided herself about. I liked the idea of making marks without “making marks”, that the invisiblity of pressure can be made so visible on paper or walls.

Drawing or painting poses a threat to many people, fear of making a mistake, making a mess or not making a ‘good enough’ picture. My process is about working with the surface of the paper and enjoying the safety of a repetitive action that focuses on the simple action and builds into the complexity of an image.

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