17 December 2010

Learning to Draw

"Life is
the art of drawing
without an eraser."
~John W. Gardner

I have never been a great artist. Okay. I have artistic tendencies. I see the world through the lens of an artist. But I am not a Master by any means. I have dabbled in all sorts of creative endeavors, but none of them have ever stuck with me. While I did take some art in high school {like photography when we actually developed our own film and calligraphy which I still do today} I don't recall a lot of formal training beyond grade school projects that all looked the same. I think that is why I have always had such a hard time when someone has called me an 'artist.' Since I didn't earn that moniker through intense study and practice, but merely live a creative life, that one has always been a hard pill for me to swallow.

I admire all types of art. I have tried oil painting and wheel thrown pottery. I love mixed media and poetry. I have sung on stage {and more regularly at church...where I am the 'Christmas Angel' next week ;-} and acted in community theater plays. But the one thing that I have never had any training in is learning to draw.

I see so much value in learning how to draw. It would help me with designing jewelry if I could sketch out ideas as they pop in my head. I could make a flip book of sketches for my designs. I would be able to capture the beautiful things that I see each day instead of filing them in my faulty memory. I would find a passtime that I can do anywhere with any materials for a lifetime.

So on my secret wishlist of skills I would like to hone is the ability to draw.

The Universe has a funny way of bringing to you exactly what you need. And that is when Jeannie Dukic contacted me recently. She asked for my opinion and help in formulating her thoughts on putting together a drawing lab that would run for the entire year of 2011. {Seriously, Jeannie...how did you know to ask me?}.

Now I am all about the quick fix. Duct tape and glue guns are my best friends. But I am not sure I could learn to draw successfully in a one day workshop {tried that} or by picking up a book and reading about it {I need real humans interacting with me and I am horrendous at following directions!}. Having the support of someone who has been there and is successfully evolving and learning more about technique as your cheerleader is huge.

I just signed up to take a 52 week Drawing Lab offered by Jeannie Dukic. I like the idea that there will be some silliness to the process and yet will give me a sensible direction. There will be weekly assignments sent via email and a Flickr group to share our progress. There will be the opportunity to win random drawings {if I do my assignments}, and the chance to participate in an Art Show Blog Hop quarterly {you know how I love blog hops!}. I love that I can put into it as much time as I can each week {since we all know that life has a funny way of making other plans}, and that I don't have to start with fancy equipment. Just a number 2 pencil, a pad of paper and the willingness to learn.

Similarly priced drawing labs cost well over $200 for a whole years' worth of activities. This cost is less than the price of a book on how to draw. Right now the introductory rate is just $30 (until December 26 - and increases to $35 after that - still a deal!). For 52 weeks!? Even if I can't participate in all the weeks that is still way less than $1 a week! I don't know anywhere that gives you that sort of value.

If drawing is something that you can see would have value in your life and would be fun to do, I would encourage you to join me on this journey. I will be sharing my experience with you here in 2011 and would love to have you sign up and join me. We could support each other in our quest to make time for art!

Join me in learning to draw with the Drawing Lab 2011!
What do you remember most from your art classes when you were young?
Have you ever wanted to draw, paint, sculpt, etc?
What is stopping you from trying?
What other art goals do you have for yourself for 2011?

Do tell!

Enjoy the day!


Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio said...

I feel the same way you do about drawing. And will be joining you in this venture! I look forward to letting myself fall into it and not feel pressured as to having to do it as something to bring in an income (which is where my business takes me all the time - talk about pressure!)…

Thanks for sharing!

Jeanniek said...

Can you love someone if you never met them? I don't mean like a celebrity crush, (even though in my opinion Erin is a celebrity) I mean love and a deep appreciation.

I contacted Erin to help me articulate my blog post and who better to ask but a former English teather. I knew I would have only one chance to make an impression and get potential students interested. Erin made that happen.

I have been creating and preparing the class this whole year and I appreciate Erin helping me with the finishing touches, the blog post.

Erin is a master wordsmith and she helped me chip away at that post until it was perfect.

Oh, and the Art Show Blog Hop - Totally Erin's idea. She's the queen of the Blog Hop.

Erin I was going to save this as a surprize when you received your first assignment. I know how you love quotes so each lab will have a quote in your honor.

Being able to sketch out my jewelry designs has really helped me follow through with them. I used to (even though I can draw) right it down on paper like a recipe, thinking I was saving time. Think Again! When I would refer back to it, it made no sense. It was like reading Latin. You need a visual for your jewelry ideas, not a recipe.

You girl, are a cherished treasure, jeannie xo

Heather Powers said...

It's funny, we are start out as children knowing how to draw and some where along the way we tell ourselves we can't. Learning to draw is learning to see and you'll enjoy the process! Set judgement aside as you learn your new skill and enjoy the journey!

My Life Under the Bus said...

What a fantastic idea! If I get some Christmas $$$ I may join you. I started out college in Graphic Design and originally wanted to be an illustrator. I think frustration led me to give it up. The most I've done in the last years is draw Pokemon figures for the boys. I also would love to plan things out better - I do work off the cuff ( and sometimes at the last minute). I would love to do more soldered pieces and get my hands on some PMC in 2011....we'll see.
You asked about "flaming" gaaa - just a word I made up for taking a small butane torch to the square glass silvered beads to tarnish them. I was going to try LOS - but using the torch is so fast I gave it a shot first and it worked! I didn't want them to be super shiny - I wanted the eye to focus on the shiny focals. : ) Thanks for stopping by! Patty

Alice said...

I love to draw, in fact I like most forms of art--which is not to say I'm proficient in all of them. When I was young my mother sent me to the home of two spinster sisters who were paid to teach me to sew. They soon realized I was a lost cause, and decided to teach me the art of calligraphy instead. I fell in love with the art and did many projects for family, friends and my church, but have not done much with the craft since I started making jewelry. Not long ago I had a side business of doing sketches of people's children using a black and white photo. The mothers loved the finshed product, but being the perfectionist that I am, I saw every little flaw, which caused me a lot of anguish. I stopped torturing myself and quit that business, and now only draw for the fun of it.

In the coming year I want to learn more about metalsmithing, and someday I would love to make my own ceramic beads and polymer beads. Using PM Clay is also on my list, but later down the line. I've never been good at painting, but would love to try my hand at water color, and then there's always the addiction of creating something at the potter's wheel.

Time and money remains an issue with delving into this long list. But one step at a time, and a little patience will hopefully get me there.

Erin, you do have a lovely way with words, and you are so talented at making jewelry that I have no doubt your drawings will be spectular! I can't wait to see the results of this class.

rosebud101 said...

This is something I am going to think about very seriously. That is an amazing deal! Thanks for posting about it. I might be contacting you soon to get that link again! lol! I loose everything!

Jenners said...

I think this will be a neat journey for you ... and I always love hearing when the universe give someone just what they need!

Kokopelli said...

I signed up yesterday and will be with you on that journey. It will be fun and challenging.
What I remember about art classes? My teacher once painted in my picture, walked away and asked me ten minutes later what dude painted this thing (yes, you got it, he talked about his own paint specks). *lol* He was terrible and all children were scared of him.

Mary Harding said...

Sounds like a great idea. Thanks for sharing this.

Denise Yezbak Moore said...

I have always wanted to learn how to draw. Maybe Garrett and I will join you on this adventure. This is something that I think he might enjoy. Are you etching away right now?

Off the Beadin' Path said...

Jeannie called you a master wordsmith, how perfect is that! What a delightful plan, so do-able!! It's not expensive and you have the benefits of group support and sharing the experience. I'm tempted, but feel I already have more than enough! Also away from home a lot. Art class when I was young? Okay, don't smirk, I went to a one-room country school for several years. After going to kindergarten in town. The country school had wonderful teachers and so much time for one-on-one. We listened to "Let's Draw" on the radio once a week. One assignment was a sunset with those water color paint trays and one brush that we all had. Mine got 4th place in the whole county!! I was already into purples, born with it no doubt! I then rested on my laurels until confronted with the college art class and the humungous overwhelming white sheet of paper and a crayon, at which time I totally froze up, finally managing a lonely curved line. Pathetic, I know, but maybe someone out there in blogland will empathize. But you gals just go for it, such a wonderful opportunity. And leave it to Erin to be so involved right from the start. The world needs more caring and giving people like you, Erin!

Rebecca said...

That sounds like an awesome plan for you! I am the world's worst drawer and I fear that no amount of classes and labs can change this fact but I will watch out for your blog hops and similar. I took Art and Design as it is called in Scotland all the way through High School but I always veered towards the Design part rather than the Art part! I am also useless at painting :-) but I designed and helped my Mum to make a costume for Titania in Midsummer Night's dream and loved it, complete with beaded shoulder straps. I still have the finished submission board which I had up in our room until we moved in September!


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