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What’s Drawing you? 

There are some great arguments for the value of everyday drawing, mainly that practice makes perfect. But if you don’t believe you can draw to start with you most likely won’t practice. Besides, it’s not drawing observationally that I’m concerned with today, nor is it doodling or doodle art per se, it’s drawing. Just not drawing like most people might think of when they hear the word drawing.


For many years I’ve had no idea why I continued to put pen to paper, it’s just something that I’ve always done and can’t imagine not doing. The sheer volume and ubiquitousness of my drawings meant that I perhaps didn’t value them in the same way I do my painting, but there is no painting without drawing. I’ve become increasingly aware of their increasing value and today I’d like to reflect a little more on my experience of being with drawing for so many years.

So for a start I’m rarely drawing from observation (although when I do it’s a revelation and I love it – it’s just not my natural mode), I’m drawing to connect to an inner part of myself. I draw to find balance, I draw to find my centre, and like many people I draw to process and reflect. There is a grounding that occurs when I connect pen with paper, as if I can record an inner vibration and the lines glide to stillness.


There has been a steady evolution of my drawing over the past 15 years from sketchy and hesitant to bold and fluid. They are similar in their shapes and forms, they are not quite a pattern as they don’t repeat, each one is unique, all though clearly related to one another.

I draw to relax, I draw to unwind, I draw to feel, I draw to get back in touch, I draw a direct line to an inner reality. I recognise the optimism inherent in a flourishing line and marvel that such a shape could come from a me, who at the time is identified with negativity and fear. The drawings are clearly anchored at a depth beyond the rolling clouds of emotion for they never flinch and shy, they are constant, they’ve never spoken a word that wasn’t a source of hope.


Drawing has pulled me out of depression, lethargy, despair, anger, caution, worry, confusion, boredom and anxiety. Drawing has helped me to integrate the highs of joy and excitement.

I encourage you to draw, and if even hand writing feels unfamiliar I encourage you even more! There is nothing to draw, just put pen to paper and see what happens. Drawing brings the unexpected, and often a surprise gift of clarity. Which is why at the busiest most overwhelming part of the year, whilst imploding with stressful deadlines, I’ve decided to draw everyday of December, (until the 25th advent calendar style) and I’ll be posting each new drawing on my website and Instagram and will post each drawing to the first person to send me their address! I invite you to join me and to turn your attention to drawing for just a short time each day. A doodle, a drawing, a sketch, whatever feels best, just let the moment take you and I’d love to hear from you.

(For those of you who are hashtag savvy and are so inclined to share your work, you can post your drawings online with #thesecretartistblog and tag me in the photo if you like.)

Click here to see today’s drawing:


December is guaranteed to bring every distraction and discombobulation it can muster to disrupt our focus and we’ll pay the price like we always do. Committing to daily drawing as a way to cut through the jingle and the jangle is, I think, a pretty radical act. So when the pace picks up and the drama get fizzy, when December starts spinning with all it’s glitzy allure we can always pick up a pen and draw our attention to somewhere else.

And I draw a line, to your heart today, to your heart from mine, one line to keep us safe.”

PJ Harvey

Until the next,

Love and Best Wishes


Gemma Kauffman’s practice encompasses a variety of strategies and media, which include painting, performance, installation and film. Theatrical and fantastical, her work is both compelling and dynamic. Kauffman is an advocate for the creative spirit of all people and has during the last 10 years pioneered transformative approaches to social engagement.

Are you a Secret Artist? Do you believe in the creative process? Interested in learning more about the journey of this Secret Artist? Then please subscribe HERE!

One comment

  1. Rachel Bailey · December 13, 2016

    Hi Gemma, I love this project – thought I would wait a few days before replying to see the daily output expand. I like the titles too – Thought Vessel! And yesterday’s Shell makes me think of a tribe of strange children lured into fairlyland. How irritating an interpretation is that?! An overlap of you and me… It feels greedy to say that I would like one but if sending them out is part of the project I am 118 Napier Road, E11 3JZ.
    Hope you are succored by the accumulation of optimisms. Funny I think my images often embody less positive aspects of myself- that is something to consider. Anyway I shall look forward to the daily “advent” image until the end of the month and hope to echo something of your spontaneity in some daily (finished) makings myself in 2017. I yearn for a creativity beyond the repetitive, reparative monotonous stitch. Oh gesture!


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