Can’ts, never haves and don’t wants

Spurred on by the pleasure I had in October, when I participated in The Big Draw, I jumped at the chance to take a drawing class this year.  I’ve had to miss a few sessions when I was home sick and I’m definitely out of my comfort zone, but am enjoying it.   I was invited by Andrea, who organised the Big Draw session I went to back in the Autumn.  She knows my art quilts and fibre works and keeps saying that she finds it thrilling that I’m doing something different and exploring drawing.  Which is very encouraging as I am one of those people who have said ‘I can’t draw’.  Without ever having really given it a chance.  I’m like a little kid who says ‘I don’t like spinach’ but has never tried it!

I’ve believed that being a bona fide drawer means being able to draw a mug that looks like a mug.  I talked about that today and Andrea said ‘Why would you even want to draw a mug, unless it means something to you?  That’s why a lot of people think they can’t draw’.  That was affirming to hear.  Maybe this has to do with me being an INFP and being very interior-oriented.  Because I actually do draw, but it’s mainly things that I imagine or how I feel.

There are about 10 other people in the class with differing abilities and amounts of time spent ‘behind the easel’.  There is usually something to draw in the sessions, but about half of the people are working on something completely different, eg their own projects, which is interesting.   I still feel exposed and vulnerable when we turn our easels around at the end of the class though.

I’m also learning that I like to draw in a  raw, primitive and expressive way, more than a finely detailed rendering.  Andrea is going to set me some exercises which will encourage this.

So here are a few that I’ve done so far:

Onion, A5

Wizened onion, A5, charcoal

I started out drawing lichen covered, budding branches and kept seeing birds and animals emerging from a thick forest.

Pear branches with creatures, A1, charcoal

Pear branches with creatures, A1, charcoal

I did this one when I was ‘off sick’, inspired by the painter Agnes Martin.

Missing, 12" x 12", pencil

Missing, 12″ x 12″, pencil

This one is based on the Muscogee (Creek) creation myth, in which the first world is covered with water and Locv (turtle) dives down to get mud.  She gives some to all of the creatures and they put all of it together to make land.

Locv, A1, wax pastels

Locv, A1, wax pastels

This morning, when I was getting ready to go to the session, I thought that rather than say, ‘I can’t (__________)’ which may set me up in a negative way; why not say, ‘I’ve never (________)’.  That way I can acknowledge my uncertainty, fear or vulnerability and then go ahead and try it anyhow.  Unless I really can’t do whatever it is.

I do know this though!  ‘I can’t don’t want to draw a mug’.  : )

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