My first drawing class as Step 2 in Art Therapy was earlier this week. I must say, it certainly felt strange to be the new kid walking into a room full of people who have been in the class for 2-3 years.
Bob The Teacher gave us newbies a brief explanation of Perspective, and then threw a book on the table in the Beginner’s Corner and said “draw this”. All three of us failed miserably. I started looking at the door a bit surreptitiously, wondering if anyone would notice me slipping out. But then he came by to look at our attempts, and the light bulb flicked on. OK – now I understand. I even got some faint praise for my second effort. Very faint.
Some observations from my first day in class:
- Don’t wear a new mascara brand for the first time when you know you will need your eyes. Especially if you could be allergic to it.
- I always wondered why cartoons of artists have them squinting at their thumbs held out before an object. Now I know. I had a hard time not laughing the first time I did it, and I am happy to report I didn’t say anything snarky. I thought it, but didn’t say it. Most unlike me, and probably the result of First Day Jitters.
- Don’t drink coffee before your 3 hour class.
- That kneaded eraser thingy is the best invention since the pop-up toaster. Not only does it stick to the wall when you throw it in exasperation, but you can manipulate it into just the shape you want when you are bored. Makes great bunny ears. Love that thingy.
- Eavesdropping on the more advanced group’s conversations is a lot of fun, and answers the question of what people who have way too much time on their hands idly talk about. I must remember that when I move up the Class Ladder and keep my mouth shut.
- I was surprised at how mentally drained I was after class. The last thing I wanted to do was any more drawing that day, or anything creative. Cleaning the house was about all I could handle that afternoon. I never thought I’d say that.
This is serious stuff. And slow. I’m working on the first book on Perspective, and I have to think, adjust mentally, and then try out each new concept to make sure it’s burned into my brain. It’s not like studying in college, where I would read, memorize and then utilize the concept mentally. I have to make my fingers do what my brain wants it to do, and I have a feeling the two are not getting along quite like they should. Probably because they don’t usually hang out together. I need to set up more play dates.
Bob The Teacher told me drawing was frustrating and difficult, but with perseverance, hard work and time, I will be able to draw, and draw well. I’m going to hold him to that, and damn it – I will make this work.
If you see me squinting at anything, I am not strange. It’s because I’m measuring distance.
Well, OK – I am strange, but now at least I have an excuse.