Subject: Word Patterns
Activity: Create a Potential Future Drawing
Materials: Pencil, large sheets of paper
Vocabulary: Hypothetical, composition, movement, flow
Artist Beth Campbell uses the title Potential Future Drawing to describe drawings that map hypothetical events. First, she thinks of a something simple that happened to her that day; like “I sat on my new glasses.” She writes this down, then thinks of potential next steps. She draws a line out from that phrase and writes the next action. Then she imagines what would happen if she did one action verses the other, creating hypothetical stories. What results is a cluster of potential storylines. Her drawings show how complex our minds and thoughts are even when thinking of something simple.
Can you find the start of her drawing?
Can you trace the start all the way to one potential ending?
Step back, what shape does the entire drawing take?
Does the shape look like something from nature?
Create your own Potential Future Drawing!
Take a large sheet of paper (or tape together several small sheets to create one large sheet) and think of something that happened to you today. It doesn’t have to be something special; the simpler the better! Write what happened down at the bottom of your paper. Then imagine 2-3 different actions you can take as next steps. Draw a line for each and write each one down. Then from each new action, think of what you would do next. Draw a line for each and write each one down. Continue this pattern until your drawing grows across the entire page.
Download the activity guide to see an example.
Beth used this drawing to inspire the shape of her mobile across the lobby.
Does Campbell’s drawing grow more in one direction than another? Does yours? What shape does your drawing look like? Does it look like something from nature?
Hypothetical - An imagined scenario or event
Composition - The plan, placement, or arrangement of the shapes and colors in a work of art
Movement - An arrangement of shapes and colors that gives the feeling of motion and guides the viewer’s eyes around a work of art
Flow - The direction an element in a drawing takes that helps our eyes view a drawing
Another text-based work in the collection is And That’s the Way It is by Ben Rubin