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Alston's Technique: Drawing

Before she can even remember, Rebecca Alston has been drawing. Painting came in at age three but drawing was around much earlier. She could draw before she could read or write. Drawing and spatial concepts were an innate process.

“I was fascinated with the stroke, the line, the rhythm and the movement across any surface,” Alston shares.

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As a child, she quickly developed a language of her own in drawing technique and that same language continues today.

She explains that when we speak about drawing there are various ways to speak of it. For her one way would be speaking to her love of the process and method when she creates or explores an idea. Another way would be exploring the actual technique and medium of drawing.

Throughout Alston's life, drawing has been her vehicle for communication. With her interdisciplinary background in fine arts and then merging with architectural design, Alston found a love of drawing lines, especially in the years working in her architectural design firm.

“It’s almost a sensual experience. You can be so delicate with it or so bold,” Alston says.

Just as important as the Instrument you are drawing with is the surface you are drawing on and for Alston, that it is paper. Her experience in printmaking and traveling to Asia made her love for paper run deep.

“ You have to have full respect of the surface (paper) to understand the breath of the material, what it is about and the interaction with the process and the surface,” explains Alston.

Alston shares that many people look at some of her larger drawings and can’t believe that she used a pinpoint to draw a 5-foot piece. No one would know she uses a small point on the drawing because she tools the paper with the point, sometimes working between the grains of the paper.

Texture is offered by the very nature of the paper and by using a tool, such as a pencil, in a masterful and mindful way the technique then develops and clarifies the concept, whether it is a cognitive or more intuitive concept. It brings the intent of the piece together. The ease and skill with the instrument will bring clarity to the language and will always tell the story of the piece.

“The technique of drawing is limitless and cannot be halted by time,” says Alston.

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