Straight Lines vs. Curved Lines : An Experience

Have you ever thought about the variety of lines which we see and take on a daily basis. We drive to work in a car to arrive at a building with walls. We walk around the corner and down the hall to the bathroom with stalls and a toilet. Hmm… and what do these lines tells us? Lines of the pavement show us the boundary within we should drive, straight doors on bathroom stalls tell us not to enter if closed, and smiles on faces make us feel good. Hmm..

Two weeks ago, in Eurythmy class, we expeirenced moving through straight and curved lines in a continual sequence. We have been working on forming five-pointed stars by drawing them on the ground with our footsteps. Then we worked on drawing a circle around the star, forming a pentagram. Then, we alternated between the two, flowing between the straight line and the curved. 

Try it with a pencil on paper. How does it feel when you make a straight line? How does it feel when you make a curved one?

For me, straight lines feel calm, thoughtful and precise. While curved lines feel light, playful and free. However, while alternating between the two in this exercise, without a guide to ensure a precise shape, I felt that all the lines had weight to them. I was concentrating intently to form the form. 

This week we began form drawing. This technique is used in the early grades to begin cursive writing and in the later grades to create precise interconnected shapes such as those of the Celts. In the even later grades, it is used for geometry. 

Below is a progression from a simple straight line to a flowing curved line that moves forward and back to the beginning of an interconnected pretzel-like knot shape. 

form progression

form pretzel

Each line was traced at least 3 times. This gives the etheric body a chance to habituated the movement and one can logically work out which sections need to be tighter or looser in order to make them all even. It’s harder than it looks, which is exhibited by the line which I simply had to x-out because it was so wonky. 

The goal is to concentrate on developing precise, equal shapes that are well-weighted and beautiful. Sounds easy enough!


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