Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Anne Martin - Thoughts on Drawing

Having never taken an art class before, this semester's drawing class was an incredible experience for me. I found immense joy in escaping from algorithms and chemical reactions for a few hours and finding a sunny spot from which to work. Drawing gave me a piece of mind, a chance to move away from the hectic schedule of daily life and disappear for a time. I loved the meditative affects of drawing, the sense of calm it could inspire, the point of focus it required. Art forces a person to pause. For just a moment in life, one has to stop and really look around, notice the way that lines and shades and shadows somehow create the world that we live in. For the first time in a long time I really considered my surroundings. Sometimes it felt like I was seeing things for the first time, things I had spent months walking by and never really stopped to pay attention to. I hope that the sense of wonder, the attention to detail that drawing has brought into my life will stay with me. I know my sketchbook, at least, will be here to stay.

I also really loved this drawing class because it gave me a chance to see other people's art work. Whether it was wandering the exhibition hallways during breaks, or critiquing classmates, we were surrounded by the creations of fellow classmates. It struck me the way in which each piece was so drastically different from any others, the way you could tell at a glance who the author was. Even if we all had drawn the exact same space, the exact same objects, everyone would have come up with a wildly different product, wildly different perspectives and techniques. I was reminded again and again of Oscar Wilde's quote, "Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known". Each drawing, painting, and sculpture seemed to scream, "this is me, this is who I am, how I see the world". Art is truly the product of the person, a reflection of their thoughts, their feelings, the way they hold their pencil. In a world constantly fighting against assimilation, art has already won. I really loved this aspect of the class, and other art classes before us. I feel really thankful that this has been a part of my time at Duke.

Thanks for a great semester Professor Fick!

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