Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Drawing in My Life

I was exposed to art at a very young age and latched onto it immediately. My grandmother was an artist so art was very present in my youth. I was given every color crayon imaginable along with finger paints and watercolor sets. I was a quiet child with an unusually long attention span so, even at five years old, I could sit for hours drawing and coloring. I was enrolled in my first art class around age 4 or 5. They told my mom I was too young, but then I sat quietly drawing the whole two hours and they relented.

From then on I was always enrolled in some sort of art class and then was heavily involved in my high school’s art program. My high school was very new and had an extensive arts program for a public school. I auditioned for and was accepted into its free after school program called “conservatory.” Local artists were brought into conservatory to teach their craft to me and the other students. We did everything from figure drawing to screen printing, ceramics to portraiture.

During this time I realized drawing was my favorite medium. I love the precision and control of it. Even when I paint I have a hard time giving up that control. I use small brushes and work on a small scale. That is something that this drawing class has pushed me in. I usually work fairly small and take a really long time. In this class I worked a lot bigger and a lot faster. Also I usually work from photos if I have the choice which I then grid along with my paper to match. I like to do this because of the accuracy it gives me.

I’ve also never worked on such a large space from observation as I have in this class. I tend to do pieces that are very image based. When I was young I drew horses always, then it was ballet dancers (was my AP drawing concentration) and other random objects. I don’t usually depict large spaces with lots of depth or stories. It was a different way to think about drawings though.

One of my favorite things about drawing is how different one person can interpret something from the way another person interprets the same things. When I took figure drawing in high school I always found it fascinating to go around and see other peoples gesture drawings or quick ten minute sketches. When everyone was forced to do something that fast without having the time to think it through, their styles were so clear.

And this is where I find drawing to get complicated. There is the pursuit of an individual style, something specific and indicative of the artist, but also the pursuit of learning how to draw things correctly, or maybe the better way of saying that is realistically. Ultimately, we think that a good artist can put something down on paper that looks real. And I enjoy that part of art, the making things look real part, just as much as the creative part of it. I love the challenge it poses and the attention to detail it requires. But it takes a certain eye to see the details around us. I know that I see the world differently than my friends who aren’t involved in art. I look at a white shirt and see the blues and purples lingering in the folds and shadows. I see the high contrast that makes metal look shiny and the complementary color schemes on advertisements. I notice shadows and shapes and lighting that other people don’t. And I like that I see these things. I think art has made the world a more beautiful place for me and I kind of wish everyone could see the world through the eyes of an artist.

Here are a couple of pieces i've done in the past. The first is a pen drawing and the second a drawing mainly done with charcoal pencils that was for my AP Drawing concentration.

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