Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Do that thing update -- Skill building

This post is part of my do that thing series.  For previous updates, in handy reverse chronological order, click here.

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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.)


Paint tubes.
(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?

hugs,
Christie

19 comments:

  1. Wow, I think they're wonderful!

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  2. Oh My Goodness. It blows my mind how us humans always think we're not good at things! You are so freaking awesome Christie. Keep up the amazing work. I am soooo very proud of you and your latest venture. I have been having trouble connecting directly to your site to be able to leave messages but I have been following on Reader and cheering you on from New Zealand. You are such an inspiration. I am following along with you and doing MY thing. Thanks for being a legend and (just so you know) you are a freaking amazing artist!

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    1. Hi Allie! Thank you so much for following and cheering me on from New Zealand. :) Wow, your comment means so much. I will take it to heart. It's wonderful to read that you're doing your thing, too. Very best wishes!

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  3. Put on my glasses, I see no flaws. ;-) I thought the tree was a block cut print you'd fashioned (fond memories of my high school art class as well as art my kids have brought home ;-).

    Just working on ironing out the day to day around here. Keep doing that thing, you are so incredibly talented and we all want to see MORE!

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    1. Hi Scribbler! So happy you stopped by. My teacher suggested that I should try turning the tree into a block cut. :) Hugs to you while you iron out the day to day!

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  4. Wow! That's great work! I can't believe that's after just a few lessons. :)

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    1. Hi Laura! Thanks so much. Can't believe it myself. I drew the tree after lesson 2. The paint tubes drawing came about after a few extra lessons with my art teacher, who is so amazingly talented. It has been such fun. :)

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  5. You are an incredible, talent Christie! How wonderful to find such an important part of yourself. Always, an inspiration!

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    1. Miranda! I'm so happy to see your comment. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

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  6. These are beautiful! You really are skilled.

    Thank you for putting out the journal pages. I am enjoying them very much.

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    1. Hi Karen! Thanks so much! I'm so glad you're enjoying my pages. :)

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  7. These drawings are great - excellent work!! If these are a first attempt then you really have a natural eye and talent. I wish I could join you in your lessons. It looks like your teacher has some great ideas.

    Thank you for the journal pages. They look like they will be great fun to complete and will bring out my quirky side - I am sure it is in there somewhere...

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    1. Hi Cathy! Thanks so much for stopping by. Yes, my teacher is awesome and I've been amazed at what she's been able to pull out of me. Her way of approaching drawing is not at all what I would have expected of beginner lessons and I am so lucky to be able to learn from her. Best wishes on journaling with your quirky side!

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  8. Hello Christie...
    I ran across your site from Pinterest!! Love your Journaling pages cant wait to get started... I am a big doodler and have a very hard time getting started in Journaling. I hope to use both of these to pull out my style and get me started. THEN I ran across your drawings... I keep saying I am going to take some drawing classes and I really want to paint. At 45 my daughter doesnt think I can do it (she is 14). :) It's never too late to learn is my thought and your drawings were wonderful... you give me inspiration in many aspects... THANK YOU!!
    LeeAnn

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    1. Hi LeeAnn! Thanks so much for your lovely comment. It is absolutely never too late. Ever. Go for it! Drawing classes have been a great way for me to ensure that I make the time to learn something I've always wanted to learn. Once you've taken those classes, I hope you'll stop by again to share your experience. :)

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  9. Hi Christie! I've stumbled across your blog and am loving your journaling pages and new ideas you have some up with. I want to give you two thumbs up on A) blowing the "I can't draw" concept out of the water and trying it, and B) doing a spectacular job! That graphic drawing has great value and composition for a seasoned artist, forget a beginner! From this illustrator with a BFA, nice work! -Sarah

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