Monday, July 18, 2011

Sketch-A-Day 16

Several years ago (at least four or five) I purchased a fantastic set of DVD's. The Structure of Man by Riven Phoenix. The production isn't high tech - but the instruction is SERIOUS.  If you go through and do the lessons, learn the formulas (it's all about formulas!) - you will be able to draw the human figure from the bones out.  Granted they are visual formulas about proportion and placement - not math and numbers.

Me? The way my life is - I'm still on lesson 10. There are over 100. I'm a little stuck here on the complexity of this piece. I need to buckle down and just do it over and over. In a short enough time that I don't forget everything I did last time.

Lyricisms: On Being Blind

“I have learned that what I have not drawn I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle." ~Frederick Franck

photo by Julia Wade Photography
I'm half blind

It's true. I vividly remember being five years old and getting my first pair of glasses. As I came out into the shopping mall I was shocked to discover that the big colorful blobs above each store front were, in fact, words. The details I had missed had meaning. It felt like stepping into a new world.

To this day I still feel as though I need a different language to exist in the world without my glasses. I put on my glasses each morning and finally feel connected and awake. For me, it's all in the details.

When I'm drawing I see things differently.

These days, I'm finding that I feel half blind without my sketchbook in hand. If I'm not drawing something, figuring out how shapes go together and at what angle to curve each line, I feel as if I'm not really seeing what is there. It feels as if my pen is a pair of glasses, giving me the details I need to understand the extraordinary meaning and beauty in everything around me. The world is a magical place seen through the eyes of the artist I am intent on becoming.

"You are not stuck where you are, unless you decide to be."  ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

What tool are you lacking?

Where is your blind spot?

What skill or technique, what way of thinking, is keeping you from fully connecting to the world of your own unique vision and art? Often we get frustrated with our perceived lack of ability to create the visions in our minds' eye. It's too easy to say "I can't" or to say "I'm stuck" and to simply give up. Understand that giving up rather than doing the work is YOUR choice.

You can choose to not be stuck!

Stop and take the time to figure out what tool you need to help you move forward then do what it takes to add that tool to your kit. It takes work, time, and effort to master a new skill. Sometimes it takes an instructor to teach us the techniques we lack. Sometimes it takes the encouragement of a supportive friend or mentor to keep us going when we get discouraged. Always, it is a decision to plod along one small step at a time towards your goal. There might be missed footings and detours, but each step will take you closer to your goal of becoming an artist.

You can do it. I know you can!

This essay is from my most recent newsletter, Lyricisms. If you know someone else who might enjoy this please feel free to hit that little button up on the top right and share this via FaceBook, email, or Twitter. I'd appreciate it! If you would like to subscribe to the Lyricisms newsletter- you can do that here.