Like many writers, I sketch a bit in the margin’s of my notebooks. For me, drawing hits a different creative nerve. It’s actually hard for me to describe in words, which probably means it’s something very important to me personally.
So, rather than let this go, I’ll try to tackle it and share my thoughts with you but first a few of my sketches… If you can’t see the slideshow below, drop by Flickr and take a peek:
On Giving In…
Sometimes in the hustle of trying to get work done we forget about the deep need to let our artistic selves shine through. We spend more and more time worrying and fretting over commas and sentences. We terrorize ourselves with the need to push things out the door, to find meaning, to be heard…
Yet beneath this frenzy is the intense love of form, beauty, and the art of expression. This is what drives us to pick up the pen and make words on the page or to allow ourselves to linger of the curve of a hip or the trail of smoke rising from languid lips. We are of course humans not machines and it is only natural for us to love art.
When I draw, my mind becomes more limber. I loose a sense of connection with reality. The thoughts that occur to me are less about shape I am making and more about the emotion I’ve become connected to. This is not unlike a very powerful writing session where the mind of characters take control of my thoughts and I become no more than a medium to their desires.
Twenty-five years ago I had a very harsh art teacher. It was her duty to teach the proper form and she was exacting in her method. No deviations were tolerated.
As a young adult, I hated this. I suppose, even if she had taken the time to explain why she had to do this, the purpose of the training, I’d have hated it. I wanted to be free. I wanted to explore. I didn’t want someone telling me how to make a line. I didn’t want someone to explain the nature of one form over another.
What’s strange is that the last day of school, this art teacher asked me to stay after class. She took my art portfolio from my hands and walked through several pieces telling me I had talent and that I ought to pursue it.
It’s a bit of a pity, because after that experience I never stepped into an art class again. In fact, I didn’t draw again for years and years. Clearly, I’ve never forgotten this. I could even describe for you the art room and how the windows were quite high on the walls and who I sat with and at which table. I can describe the look on this woman’s face and she tried to connect with a student in who she saw promise.
I didn’t listen to her. I just wanted to escape, not into the long days of summer either. I wanted to escape from her attention, from her words of praise. Perhaps this is what drove me to stop drawing and why it is so difficult for me to share or talk about art like this.
To be passionate about art and the creation of the beautiful is to experience something greater than ourselves. It is our opportunity to touch the infinite. We cannot allow ourselves to turn from this just because we might be noticed.
I have a secret for you. The universe wants you to be noticed. That’s why it’s calling you to pick up the pen. Don’t ignore it. Give in to it. That is your purpose, but do not lose sight of those who are trying to help you on the way.
I have to apologize here to W. Somerset Maugham. I was just reading his admonishments of alliteration in The Summing Up. I’m afraid that when I’m waxing poetic I do tend to skew in that direction. I hope you’ll forgive the transgression. 🙂