You have to understand that both my parents can draw. Not, like, in a casual way. No. Not even in an ‘I was trained lengthily’ sort of way, although both of them were. But in an ‘I wanted to do this my whole life, got trained, and now do this professionally’ sort of way. Like the way I play violin. Consuming. Forever, even if they both quit this instant and did something completely different, their ability to communicate via images would live in any medium they tried. I grew up with this consumption; I knew how to blend colors before I knew how to hold a violin. I was sketching our house and learning about perspective when I was eight. (It wasn’t a good drawing, mind you. My mom insists that it was, but she bore me. She tried to tell me my undercooked potatoes were done that way on purpose in certain cultures.)
My point is, I breathed art as a dragon her perpetually fed fire from the moment I was born. I never learned about life without it. And drawing…drawing was my parents’ thing. Drawing was my parents’ voice. I know what it is to need a lifetime or several just to get honest with our chosen medium, and part of me feels like belatedly joining the drawing fray — even just for fun, with cartoony doodles as my goal — is disrespecting the skill and craft that we artists bleed into our every attempt.
I tell myself that art is for everyone, exactly as they want it, not as we think they should want it. I teach violin to kids who will never major in it, who will never compete or perform regularly, but who will hopefully always listen to it, and trek their path, whichever way it wanders, with different steps because of it. I know that if I want to draw, I can try. But it’s hard to cross that line given the near sacred reverence I have for the field, and the personal, often pain laced, investment I have with my own field.
I decided to get real about consistency this week.*
*Lie — I’ve given myself one hour to get real. I started typing five minutes ago and I go back to teaching in an hour. This can totally be done in an hour. Yep. Because of my raw talent, see.
The first assignment was shapes. I started with circles, moved to squares and rectangles, then triangles, then ovals.
Emotional Geometry is not an easily accessible style. If it were not for my upbringing suffused in the intricacies and nuances of art as a passion, combined with my tendencies to scream incomprehensibly at the slightest provocation, there’s little likelihood I would be half as adept in this particular category as I so clearly am. Now, off I go to cry over a trapezoid.