Classical Sass

(240) Learning?

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Picture from a BBC news article re the Ecce Homo restoration attempt. It’s not exactly original art, but whatever this attempt is my patronus. eff off.

There are certain realities that defy even the most thoroughly delusional tendencies.

For example, I was reasonably convinced that, if I put my mind to it, I could learn to do some basic doodling without too much angst. My mom is an artist, my dad is an architect, and I, you know. Took art classes when I was nine. So. I know what fimo is.

The reality is that my attempt to draw a feather is akin to a major league baseball pitcher waltzing up to the mound and punching himself unconscious before anyone can stop him. Akin to going on stage to perform a concerto and liquid shitting my pants instead (no I have not for real done that tyvm). Akin to preparing spaghetti and marinara sauce from a jar but somehow serving everyone botulism and a saucer of olive flavored kefir. Akin to taking a job I know nothing about and then haphazardly ruining everyone’s lives because of it OH NOE DID I JUST RUIN THIS WITH A POLITICAL SLANT shhh anyways different post.

The reality of my drawing ability is unavoidable. Inescapable. Undeniable. Blatant. Above argument. Well, ok, I’m sure there are plenty of arguments to be had about it, but they’re all of the ‘how can we take away every conceivable drawing utensil without being illegal and/or getting punched in the taint because she seems kinda determined’ variety. It is not good.

I thought, at first, it was just because I’m such an utter noob at it. I thought it was because I needed to be more organized and specific when I sat down to ‘draw’. These are all things I readily apply to practicing music. The meticulous work and thought aspect is an obvious factor in the art game.

But when I tried to draw that feather, I realized how little I knew about the way a feather looks. Come on, right? It’s a fucking feather. I’ve seen a jillion cartoons of them and at least as many real ones. As I began my first attempt, I focused on how the colors were deep and silky around the center and faded thin, light, and out around the edges. I focused on how the color change affected the texture and how many color nuances there were in a ‘single’ color feather.

By the time I was done, I was pleased with what I’d done with color. But it looked like an ombre ostrich turd. I’d gotten a nice curve in the stem and the feathery bits lined up reasonably well, but I hadn’t given the overall shape much thought aside from the general taper and direction of each spider-webby strand.

And I realized, I can’t draw because I can’t see. Or, more accurately, I don’t process what I see in a way that is structurally organized. It isn’t my time that lacks organization, or even my thoughts’ focus during that time. It’s the actual content of the thoughts. I didn’t know what to think about. I wasn’t getting which parts of what I saw needed priority, and when that priority was crucial in the drawing process.

It was illuminating in the sense that now I know why, I still can’t draw, and am probably not going to get much of a crack at practicing it for awhile because vacation is over. YAY LOOK AT ALL THIS GLORIOUS LIGHT.

Anyway. Here’s to a vat of wine I mean learning new skills.

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