In Getting Back to a Phantom Skill, the first in a series from the New York Times by James McCullen, the author talks about one of my great loves, drawing. I remember drawing sneakers like he did below for some assignment in high school. (I was one of those art geeks.)
In art school, we learned all about the different techniques of drawing. We studied the masters, studied form, light and dark and had one whole year of (near torture) figure drawing using the skeleton. We used no shading, only line to show where a plane curved. It turned my drawing world upside down and I did not draw for years after that class. But it taught me to see differently and I am proud of the drawings I made of vertebrae, shin bones and pelvises. The full-sized skeletons as final projects got moldy about 10 years ago, so I let them go. My neighbor flooded the basement recently so a few more got lost, and I was surprisingly very sad about it, but the rest of the bone drawings from that class, I still have having schlepped them from apartment to apartment for over 20 years. (Thank-you Barry Schactman.)
The only one drawing class I took which was a waste of time was some conceptual class (hello 80s!) where we used charoal and rubbed obscure shapes into really expensive hand-pressed paper. I liked neither that class nor that teacher.
I am delighted to have all this formal training in drawing. I use it in my work as an interior designer. It is a skill and it taught me to see. I do quick sketches all the time for clients. But my formal skills are a bit rusty though. I figure it's like riding a bike: it's always in there. Just need a little practice.
Hmmm….I think this article inspired me to get out a 2B pencil, a pink pearl eraser, some nice paper out of storage and set up my sun room as a little studio. The light is good in there.