A happy byproduct of settling on one major goal (i.e., growing the blog) is that it helps me to focus in on the skills I'd like to acquire or improve upon in order to reach that goal.
Right near the top of a very long skill-building wishlist is learning to draw. I've long wanted to expand my ability to create on paper and, yet, I've often felt limited by the perception that I can't draw. I suspected that learning to recreate bits and pieces of the real world in a reasonably realistic manner would improve my approach to my journal pages. So I signed up for a beginner class at a local art school.
All of a sudden, after just a few lessons, the world feels so much more interesting. When I'm looking at a wintry scene outside my window or at an everyday object on the table in front of me, I can really see it -- its edges, its volume, the way the light hits it. It's a total creativity boost. Which is true, I think, of learning in general; it presents the world in ways we may not have considered. It offers us perspective, wisdom, possibility.
Anyhoo . . .
Here are two of my first attempts at drawing from the actual 3D world -- something I thought I was not capable of doing just a few weeks ago.
|Part of the tree behind my house.|
(The object of this exercise is to draw the spaces between and
around the thing you see, rather than the thing itself.)
(Here, you start with a painted board, which is then covered with graphite. I erased
and sandpapered off most of the graphite to try to reveal the shapes of the tubes.)
(The process behind both drawings remind me of that old joke that asks, How do you carve an elephant? and answers, Just take a big slab of stone and remove all the parts that don't look like an elephant.)
To my eyes, both pieces are full of mistakes and missteps, but they have given me a level of confidence that I still can't quite believe.
Thanks to a wonderfully talented and supportive teacher, I know that with a lot more practice, I'll be able to incorporate a new skill into my work here.
And that takes me one step closer to doing that thing.
What about you? Are you learning something new these days? Has doing your thing changed your perspective, even a little bit?