Thursday, December 05, 2013

Starting from scratch

When was the last time you learned something new, something totally foreign to you?

It is not a comfortable position to be in, especially when you are used to being competent in most of the things you do and undertake.

Well that’s me right now as I take my art lessons over Skype.  I’ve bartered services with an accomplished artist, Lori Goldberg, who I met when I was in Vancouver.  She’s teaching me how to draw while I am helping her with her business direction.

This week I learned the three “Ss” of contour drawing – search, sensitive and slow.  I think it is the latter that I find the hardest.  “Slow” just isn’t in my vocabulary, and with my feelings of inadequacy, I whiz through the exercises that Lori is giving me, just to get them done.  The end result shows my speed and lack of attention to detail.  In fact, as someone who hasn’t picked up a crayon since I was a kid, my results have a childish look  to them.

But Lori is making me slow down; pay more attention to what is around me and to be more curious about what I am seeing. All good business lessons to learn if you are embarking on a new direction.

I can actually see some correlation to the book, Amy and I are writing, because we have to listen, not direct and be prepared to hear the nuances of what people are saying, or more to the point, not saying.

Staring down at my efforts at drawing a hand, it looks as if I have arthritis (I don’t), but my final drawing was way better than the first one.  My drawings are getting more detailed and I am learning patience.  Not that I thought I would be an overnight artist, it is more that this humbling experience is reminding me of what it is like to be the novice and I appreciate the encouraging words from my teacher.  However, I don't think I will be giving up my day job anytime soon.

No lessons in life are ever wasted.  If nothing else this may confirm what my family has been telling me since I started, that while I am creative, perhaps I should stick to my writing.  But who knows, I may surprise them yet.  

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