This past weekend I attened a workshop. I did it despite the time contrains and committments I already had. I signed up for it despite the fact that I had to juggle funds to do it. I signed up for it despite the fact that the subject was still lifes and I don't ever paint still lifes. I signed up for it because I admired the work of the instructor and I needed my cage rattled.
I am now officially rattled.
The first observation I made was that I do not draw enough. The second was that I rely on intuition and memory far too much. The third, and in my opinion the most important, is I had become quite complacent in looking.
I do not believe it can ever be overstressed that when you are learning to draw, you are actually being taught to see. Yes, there is an amount of hand eye coordination that is involved, but the looking and seeing the edges and the shapes, the values and how they contrast, that is the trick. And, like all good things the trick takes hours, and hours of rigorously looking to train yourself to see.
I have said it before and I will say it again, if you love something enough you will struggle and strive to get better, and you will love the struggle. Maybe not every minute of it, but most of it.
The timing of this workshop was very bad for me, because now I do not have the luxury of going into my studio and drawing for extended periods of time that require critically looking. I can only hope that in three weeks the dust has not settled too much.
Thank you Scott Conary for kicking the pegs out from under my cage and raising some dust.