Saturday, February 16, 2013

Resistance Is Futile

Being part of a group is such a great learning experience.  We are such mirrors for one other.  The key word for our art class last fall was "Resistance". 
  • For sure I felt it in myself in the first couple of classes.  Resisting what was.  When I decided to let go and  learned from what seemed like a "boring exercise", I actually started to enjoy a medium I normally had no patience for.  Like most instances, I resisted because I didn't know yet how interesting or diverse something could be.  Defensiveness in advance.  Silly Girl.
  • D "jokingly" said he wanted to leave many times and seriously said he "couldn't do it" even more times.  He got so red when faced with the lesson for the night I couldn't help but laugh.  He suffered from the same lack of confidence I have with respect to skiing when in reality both of us can do both fairly decently.  Our perception can be such a hindrance. 
  • In one of my classmates I saw resistance with using larger sheets of paper!  The push back was incredible.  Even til the end, he refused to draw anything bigger than an orange, no matter how intricate the piece.  He also refused to buy an art board either.  Just like I see that as "different", I'm sure they looked at me and thought "she has an attitude". 
  • One fellow wanted validation for his "style" so badly, it interfered with his current learning.  He continually bragged about how his family owned an art gallery in cottage country and how he had already sold 2 of his 20 paintings.  I think he assumed he would automatically do well as none of us had sold our art.  In the end, he got a "C" and left without saying goodbye.
  • One gal refused to move from her station, even though the view or angle to what we were supposed to draw was obstructed.  It was kind of funny how she dug in no matter what the instructor said.  I'm kind of that way too.  But I sat at a spot with a good vision line. 
  • I resisted trying different types of paper and pencils.  Didn't really feel it was necessary nor would make that much difference.  Again little did I know.  When I saw people bring and use other materials to class, I realized the error of my ways.  And when I did one exercise on better paper with an ultra scratchy pencil where I could not get it to blend (was not allowed to use an art stomp) no matter what I did (and it was an exercise on Tone), I smartened up and off I went to the art supply store.  I'm still working on my resistance to conte sticks and textured papers. 
  • I discovered how much I enjoy "gesture drawing".  Never done it before and with my love of control, we both thought I would be very agitated with being given a time limit.  D thought it would be right up his alley being so laid back.  In reality, it was reversed!  D found it aggravating and I found a looseness I didn't know was in me.  The shorter the time (30 s - 1 min), the better my sketch was.  When we were given 2 min, I fiddled too much and my mind got in the way.  Goes to show how you can't always count on what you think your reaction will be. 
  • Our instructor hated the use of erasers and wish he could just banished them.  He felt it encouraged too much "picking" at the work and got in the way of flow.  "You are not drawing for a museum!".   That's why he had us do a large number of our drawing exercises on newsprint pads -- Cheap and so we wouldn't take ourselves so darn seriously.  All except one of us.  There was one lady who refused to use newsprint.  It wasn't good enough for her.
  • Ironically the one guy who was the most easygoing and friendly (being from Brazil may have something to do with it) had the most difficulty with letting go of his collection of erasers (hard, soft, long, short etc).  It would literally take him 1 1/2 hr to do half of an installation.  The rest of us would be working on our 3rd view of the thing.  He acknowledged his resistance and struggled with being OK seeing guidelines on his work.  His level of detail was breathtaking. 
  • There were 3 others I felt had a great attitude throughout the class.  Even when the subject matter wasn't their strength, they attacked it with gusto and humility.  Something to strive for. 
  • All of us had a distinct drawing style that came out with each exercise even though we all tried to draw the same thing accurately.  It was surprising to see just how different we all were.  I guess I didn't expect that much individuality within accuracy.  Not anything we could copy from each other either.  There is no "one way" or "right way" to draw anything.  Great lesson right there. 
  • And despite ourselves, I believe we all learned something. 

***By the time this post has reached you, I will have arrived in Prague.  Back in a week or so.***

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