Drawing Thought: How Drawing Helps Us Observe, Discover, and Invent

Drawing Thought: How Drawing Helps Us Observe, Discover, and Invent

by Andrea Kantrowitz
Drawing Thought: How Drawing Helps Us Observe, Discover, and Invent

Drawing Thought: How Drawing Helps Us Observe, Discover, and Invent

by Andrea Kantrowitz


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Drawing as a tool of thought: an investigation of drawing, cognition, and creativity that integrates text and hand-drawn images.

Drawing is a way of constructing ideas and observations as much as it is a means of expressing them. When we are not ready or able to put our thoughts into words, we can sometimes put them down in arrangements of lines and marks. Artists, designers, architects, and others draw to generate, explore, and test perceptions and mental models. In Drawing Thought, artist-educator Andrea Kantrowitz invites readers to use drawing to extend and reflect on their own thought processes. She interweaves illuminating hand-drawn images with text, integrating recent findings in cognitive psychology and neuroscience with accounts of her own artistic and teaching practices.

The practice of drawing seems to be found across almost all known human cultures, with its past stretching back into the caves of prehistory. It takes advantage of the ways in which human cognition is embodied and situated in relationship to the environments in which we find ourselves. We become more aware of the interplay between our external surroundings and the inner workings of our minds as we draw. We can trace moments of perception and understanding in a sketchbook that might otherwise be lost, and go back to reexamine and revise those traces later. Kantrowitz encourages readers to draw out their own ideas and observations through a series of guided exercises and experiments, with her lively drawings and engaging text pointing the way. Drawing is a tool for thought in anyone’s hands; it is creativity in action.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262544320
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 10/11/2022
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 398,073
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Andrea Kantrowitz, an artist and educator, is Associate Professor and Director of the Art Education Program at SUNY New Paltz. She leads workshops and symposia on art and cognition around the world.

Table of Contents

How to Read This Book v
Prelude vii
Chapter 1: The Evolution of Thought 1
How to Take a Line for a Walk 16
Chapter 2: Below the Surface 19
How to Show Feelings 32
Chapter 3: The Thinking Hand 35
How to See Shapes 50
Chapter 4: Imaginary Friends 53
How to Overlap Shapes 68
Chapter 5: Drawn Together 71
How to Imagine a Place 86
Chapter 6: Thinking Space 89
How to Make Space 104
Chapter 7: A Tool of Thought 107
How to Take a Point of View 122
Chapter 8: Everybody Draw! 125
Notes: References, Research, and Suggestions for Further Reading 141
Acknowledgments 173
About the Author 177

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Brilliant, playful, and bursting with wonderfully imaginative drawings, Drawing Thought is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to incorporate drawing into their classroom or spark their own creative excursions. I plan to do both.”
—Nick Sousanis, Associate Professor in Comics Studies at San Francisco State University, author of Unflattening
“Kantrowitz masterfully intertwines the mental and physical acts of drawing through beautiful images, textual clarity, and scholarly foundations. I can’t wait to use this book — bravo!”
—Lois Hetland, Professor Emerita, Massachusetts College of Art and Design and co-author of Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education and Studio Thinking from the Start: The K-8 Art Educator’s Handbook
“Drawing isn’t about making pretty pictures. It’s about feeling and learning and engaging with the world. It’s about thinking more deeply and living more richly. This gorgeous, erudite book will show you how.
—Danny Gregory, author of The Creative License and Art Before Breakfast
“Drawing on her wealth of knowledge and experience, Andrea Kantrowitz masterfully weaves together illustrations, prompts and prose to illuminate the myriad ways in which drawing acts as an indispensable tool for thought”
—Dr Rebecca Chamberlain, Lecturer in Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, Editor-in-chief, Empirical Studies of the Arts
Drawing Thought beautifully explores research in the learning and psychological sciences to illustrate how drawing develops our minds. Kantrowitz gives rich insight into how drawing is a fundamental thinking and communicative act, core to being human.”
—Dr. Kimberly Sheridan, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, George Mason University and author of Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education
“A delight for the mind and the eyes. It will change how you look at art, how you understand art, how you do art, and how art education can be done.”
—Barbara Tversky, Emerita Professor of Psychology at Stanford and Columbia Teachers College; author of Mind in Motion

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