Last fall I challenged myself and signed up for a 10 week drawing class (at a local art college). Drawing was something I always did as a child, particularly when spending days and weekends at my Grandmother‘s house. She is after all, a wonderful crafty, artist lady. But somewhere between college studies, graduate school, and years of work — I let it all slip away. So picking up my pencil (or charcoal) again was a bit like dusting off an old, unused instrument. I learned several things in that class that I would like to keep in my reservoirs of wisdom (which are most regularly depleted!)
1.) As my instructor adamantly stated each week, “drawing is not a talent; it is a learned skill. And you must practice, practice, practice.” And making practice a priority is not an easy task (when not financially motivated!)
2.) Criticism is not always negative. I felt like my instructor was really good at giving critiques. She had a way of always finding something to affirm first, then saying what she thought should be different. This in turn has helped me look at things with a different perspective that I find very much in line with the improv game “Yes, and…”. (This is particularly helpful when the hubs asks for my opinion on his projects!)
2a.) Along with that then is that putting your work up on the wall, for all to see and judge is really hard. Yuck, who likes to be vulnerable?
3.) I am a crazy-lady perfectionist. For real. And because of that I can be really rigid, whether it be about rules or style. I completely envied my class-mates whose work felt really “alive” and “painterly” because they weren’t concerned so much about getting it exactly right. Funny how that carries over into all aspects of my life…
4.) I really like to draw. I find it relaxing and challenging and yet you wouldn’t really know it as I haven’t much “tuned my instrument” since the new year, but it’s not completely rusty yet (again.)
This was one of my favorite weeks of the class because we were required to draw a portrait from a picture using the grid-method (go figure I liked it so much — it was more science than art!)