Monday, March 9, 2009

The education of an artist is the result of his or her experiences of drawing...

pewter creamer,
pencil and gouache

How does one learn to draw? By drawing...sounds so simple.

It's not the paper or the pencil or the teacher or the latest workshop that creates a drawing. It's the person who is drawing. Yet how many times have I run out to buy *that* particular pencil and *that* type of paper in hopes of creating my masterpiece? And lets not talk about books on drawing...they multiply like rabbits before my very eyes.

It's kind of like saying Tiger Woods is such a good golfer because of the clubs he uses. If I were to use his brand of clubs, then surely, I would be as good a golfer as Tiger...right? Not so much. Yet faithfully, I clip my Michael's coupon and buy yet another type/brand/shade of pencil to help me draw better. Thank goodness it's only pencils and not golf clubs that I keep buying! (And the act of drawing for me, is just like a game of golf in that I am always trying to improve my own performance.)

The education of an artist is the result of his or her experiences of drawing. Drawing is self taught. Yes, we are taught theory on light, value, perspective and such, but in the end, it's actual drawing that teaches us to draw. Much like riding a bike. We can tell our kids all about riding a bike. How to get on the seat, peddle the peddles, balance, push off and go forward...but it's the actual riding of a bike that teaches us to ride the bike. Learning to ride a bike is self taught too. Children learn to walk and talk by experience, not by taking a workshop entitled "Walking & Talking - you too can do it!"

Learning anything is an experiential process.

Why do I so often forget this fundamental idea?

I want to have amazing drawing skills like this. Which brings me to another saying I say a lot to myself... "In order to become a good artist, I have to be willing to be a bad artist." Now, if you will excuse me, I am off to do some drawing!


Linda said...

that was an awesome read, i'm sure i'll be back to read it again. Thanks!

Susan Reynolds said...

Great reminder: Yes yes yes - we've just got to do it and then keep drawing and drawing and drawing to keep our drawing muscles toned. I love the way you explain it.

Kelly said...

Loved your post--it's not the tools, but never forget you bring a great deal to the table! I could draw till the cows come home and it's still going to be stick figures!