Drawing from the Body

Tongue Undone


In the folds of fear, the small child stood frozen

in trauma time

the capacity to speak

stripped away

by threats laid bare

amongst the wolves

walking the streets

the beasts devouring the forms

devoid of spirit


in the devouring

they have fled to other lands

other eaves

other spaces

held in the resonance

of the sacred

patience little one

your day will come

to come home to your body

for your stories to be witnessed

for the universe to attune your being

to integrity, to natureʻs beauty

questing truth


into the icy waters

of this healing river

let go

trust the process

float, sink, swim

in the awareness

of your breath

a meditation

of the rise 

and fall

of breath

becoming and being

in the wisdom pool of compassion

reflecting grace

that heals all


DRAWING FROM THE BODY vs. Drawing using techniques taught through Western Paradigms


Above is a drawing is from my first life drawing class, while in college, that I transformed into a digital art form. At the time this image was first created I had completed my degree in business economics, and then began a dance major. I received an A+ in the first anatomy class required, and signed up for the second, which required, working with a cadaver. I went to the first class, and had a panic attack, seeing the cadaver, and asked the dance department, what I could take in lieu of this class. They indicated, life drawing. This class was taught by a teacher, who had been a high school art teacher, and myself, and another sister, associate this teacher (as well as others) with the web of abusers, and I suspect, my youngest sister, who I never had a chance to talk with about this, was also abused. Her daughter, after this sisterʻs death, shared with me her mother had told her about the trauma, and said, they kept wanting the younger daughter (I was the eldest). When my niece shared with me the language the teachers would use with her, I thought to myself, OMG, this is grooming language. I wasnʻt aware of this trauma at the time of taking this course, thanks to the fine art and miracle of the bodies capacity to compartmentalize experiences through dissociation. This person had done a good job of dissuading me from pursuing the arts with words that took decades to overcome, but I did, overcome. I even went back to this school, and I told the High School principal about the abuse, as a part of the healing journey.  She gave me some valuable information. That the school observed, that there was often child abuse associated with the extremely religious, and I tucked that away, this knowing, that those that point the biggest fingers and shout the loudest moral rants, are often the oneʻs with the biggest blind spots and the densest Jungian shadow fields with the capacity to inflict the greatest harm.


 These series of drawings, from the years of processing what I currently coin “ACES too High” go out to all young people abused by their teachers, caregivers, spiritual leaders, trafficking networks, and within the home.  Also, to those who suffer in other countries and because of war, because, well, trauma is trauma.


May you find medicine in the images. May you find hope. May you find the courage to process what seeks to be processed, safely.


During this first life drawing class, I did not have the capacity to work well from the figure, at all times. Something else would take over and draw, and the drawing, it was not as one is taught in terms of technique. One works with what one physically sees, and learns skills to capture what one sees physically before you.


For myself, it was a process of letting go, and my understanding is, I was drawing from the body, somatically. From the emotionally body, from the heart, from the gut, fusing with wherever the creative spark comes from. It feels, in this state, that the eyes are turned inward, to inner worlds, rather than the outer world.


A time has come in my life, now that I am whole, where I have the capacity to draw what is before me, which is nothing short of a miracle, and I am learning how to draw, as taught through Western teaching methods. 


Below: the assignment was to create and draw a composition of shapes on toned paper. At the age of nearly 64, I now have this capacity, should I choose, to capture the basic architecture of what is before me using sighting techniques with an understanding of form and shadow and composition. This, for me, is a miracle. Thirty six years of growth, in order to arrive at a place, where I can be, in the present moment, with what is before me, and sketch.



After this assignment I could feel a hunger to return to this other way of drawing, and told the teacher of the class I was in, I need to draw from my body today. She said, Iʻm sorry, I donʻt know what you mean by this, and I spent time articulating what this is, and fleshing out this understanding in texts and messages to friends.


Text chat with Fred Hatt:


“The more I ground into the drawing techniques the more I understand this other origin of drawing. Drawing from the body beyond the brain, the earth body, where the brain stops thinking and a somatic process takes over, from the emotional body at times, the body does the drawing not the eye hand coordination in relation to ordinary reality. It is a type of work that is good for expressing non-ordinary states of reality and emotional textures that like metaphor and abstraction.”


“drawing as moment”