Today’s guest post is written by Kriota Willberg, New York Academy of Medicine’s Artist-in-Residence. Through graphic narratives, teaching, and needlework, Kriota explores the intersection between body sciences and creative practice. This May, Kriota taught a four-week workshop entitled “Visualizing and Drawing Anatomy,” which utilized live models as well as anatomical illustrations from the New York Academy of Medicine’s library. You can read more about Kriota’s work HERE.
The Visualizing and Drawing Anatomy workshop was held at the Academy Tuesday evenings in June. Once again I was impressed by the participants willingness to practice looking underneath our models’ skin to draw the deep anatomical structures that give our bodies form.
Who benefits from this kind of drawing practice? Practically everyone. Trained artists sharpen their skills, and those new to art and drawing learn fundamental principles of anatomy that lay the foundation for drawing the human figure.
Debbie Rabina, who is new to art, took the workshop last year. Since then she has kept a regular drawing practice and she occasionally incorporates anatomy into her work.
Ellen Zaraoff is a photographer who has just started drawing. Until taking the classes this year she had been focusing on drawing portraits in charcoal. She took the workshop to get an introduction to anatomy, structure, and proportion.
Sarah Wukoson has a BA in art, and works in medical research. She took the workshop this year because she’s interested in the intersection of art and medicine as well as “the interplay of different modes of understanding the body.”
Jim Doolley is a “life-long art lover who decided a couple years ago to take a stab at producing, not just consuming.” His focus is drawing and painting. He took this class to improve his draftsmanship.
Susan Shaw is an artist. She says, “I took the class (last year) because I found I was thinking 2 dimensionally when I was drawing and the figures seemed to have no life… I now think about how the body functions when I draw and it makes gesture and weighting much easier.”
The variety of participants: artists, illustrators, cartoonists and enthusiastic beginners – all interested in anatomy and the Library’s historical collection make this workshop one of my favorites to teach.
This September 14-October 5, Kriota is offering an “Embroidering Medicine Workshop,” which will take place at the Academy. This four-week workshop explores The New York Academy of Medicine Library’s historical collections, examining relationships between medicine, needlework, and gender. Learn more and register HERE.