May 14, 1974 was the last day of my last year in art school. I was in the print shop. A friend asked me to clean the ink off a glass plate. As I placed a paper towel upon the ink, I had an impulse to play instead of wipe. I moved my fingertips upon the towel. As I lifted it, I saw organic imprints on the underside, created through the pressure of my touch. The movements of my fingertips had been recorded directly upon the paper without grasping a tool! I do not think I am the only person to have ever done this in a print shop…but something more was happening – a transmission of energy, and a vision of the potential of this process.
At the time, all I could do was laugh, find more paper towels, and make more drawings. I laughed with the rush of energy roaring into me and out my fingertips. I laughed with the naturalness of play. I laughed with the joy of direct expression. After a while I began to bring pictorial form to these organic tracings, projecting the inner sensations of my face through my fingertips and onto the page.
There was more going on than met the eye. It felt like a soul force flowing into my body and onto the page. The imprint of the hand on the cave walls arose in my mind. I sensed the archetypal power of the human hand directly expressing the internal nature of a human being. It felt like I was participating in another iteration of that primal human act. It felt like I was receiving a gift from outside of time – though I couldn’t conceptualize that there was any reality outside of time.
A comprehension arose within me. I was tapping a source for human cultural evolution that we have tapped for emergent forms throughout our history. This creative process was making itself known at this moment for a purpose: to be a vehicle for expressing a consciousness that we were evolving towards; a consciousness that was more attuned to the fluid nature of the soul. Each drawing was an externalization of the sensations of the moment. In fully embodying this moment, a natural transformation was taking place that would be expressed in the next drawing. It was as if I was sculpting the subtle substance of my soul. I realized that this art form was unleashing a transformative human process.
In those first moments, I also had a sense that this direct, body-centered from of drawing was emerging to counterbalance highly technological lives. This was 1974, and I had no idea of what would be emerging technologically in my lifetime. It has also dawned on me over the years, that Touch Drawing is a manifestation of the feminine principle. Rather than drawing with single-point stylus, we give birth to images directly from the body. Touch Drawing is an integral process, naturally integrating the psychological, creative and spiritual dimensions of our being. Please explore the website to see the many ways this process is now being used.
If you have done Touch Drawing, I would love to hear about your experience, and your vision of where we may go from here. Please write in the comment section below.