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Saturday, August 11, 2012

DRAWING some conclusions ...

So. I have been drawing this month ... if not every day, I am at least up to ten 20 minute sessions. There have been days when I truly couldn't find 20 minutes to spare. But I've persevered and will continue to do so - it's been such fun exploring pencil on paper, line and shadow.

One of the things I love about practicing drawing is how it makes me look at the world differently. Driving in to town I examine the shapes of the open spaces the trees create as they branch over the highway. I notice what the different little black shadow spaces look like - see the blank white spots created by sunlight on leaf tops. With a librarian - it's all about the story. With an artist - it's all about the shapes.

I firmly believe that everyone can learn to draw at least some. My response, when people tell me they "can't draw a straight line with a ruler" (and note - I don't say 'you use a pencil to draw') is to ask them if they can write in cursive - if they can sign their name.  All of them say they can - to which I reply - what is a more complicated shape to draw than a lower case letter K? The truth is - writing is just a speedy type of drawing and if people practiced drawing as much as they practiced handwriting they could all draw - at least as well as they can write. It is the looking - the noticing - that makes drawing so different from writing. It is the incredible amount of time and concentration it takes to fill in all the details that makes a picture different from letter. And it is the fact that words are not being used in a drawing to help explain what's on the page that makes our relationship to art different from our relationship to a book.

Something else I've learned as I've sketched away is that it is much easier to draw from a photograph than from real life. No matter how good or vivid or well angled a photograph is - it's still only a 2 dimensional representation of something, which is what I'm trying to create with pencil and paper. Drawing from real life involves slowing down the part of the brain that speed-dials spacial relationships from eye to brain. My one drawing from a real object is so distorted and did so frustrate me that I have decided to stick with photographs for the rest of the month. One needs successes (or perhaps only modest failures) in the beginning to keep one's confidence up. LOL. At least, TheQueen needs them.

Still and all - I am having a splendid time with this exercise. It's supposed to become a habit, you know - something I do every day. It is also part of another habit I wanted to incorporate into the Life of TheQueen - to take one step every day towards a Big Life Goal - and one of my BLGs is to be able to draw - in fact - to live an artistic life. Art really matters to me and now that my mother no longer provides me with it - I need to make my own.

So. May your own BLGs be achieved - and may you take a step towards one today.

Now where's my pencil ......

1 comment:

  1. Interesting observation about the slowing down and focus required to draw from real (three-dimensional) life (versus from a photograph). I think that could be a good thing, a valuable skill -- to be better able to see...