Approaching senior spring, I had never taken a college class in drawing. I had always loved drawing as a young girl and found it incredibly relaxing and enjoyable. I always lost myself in my drawings and was able to put my mind at ease. I decided that there was no way that I could graduate Duke without taking a class and enrolled in a course. I was expecting drawing to be an equally relaxing experience and was eager to start my semester.
Throughout the semester, I've really enjoyed drawing, but it's not as relaxing as it once was. I felt as though I really challenged myself and pushed limits. The work I am most proud of is that which I've spent numerous hours struggling with the right line or shading. Drawing a picture requires a lot of commitment and patience. I wasn't allowed to just draw an arbitrary line or color in something haphazardly. I needed to focus and abide by certain rules. As opposed to drawing when I was a young girl where I didn't have any rules, now I had to follow guidelines in order to improve... and that I did.
I began to enjoy the different challenges of creating not only correct lines, but correct textures and shading. It's a really interesting challenge to see the world exactly as it is and not as you perceive it. For example, If I were to draw a cloud with an outline, that would be incorrect. What a cloud really is is negative space and in order to create the cloud you create everything but the cloud. Also, I found looking at curves to be very interesting or looking at things at angles. Whether looking at a bridge, a chair, a person's face or a hand, angles demand focus and seeing things as they are and not as you wish them to be. I always found that when my mind was struggling with lines that I didn't believe to realistic, I always had to remind myself to be patient as I have found that by the end of drawing that figure, it looked realistic because all of the pieces fit together.
While I find drawing more challenging now, I am still able to relax while I draw in my sketchbook. My sketchbook is space for complete freedom and I enjoy experimenting with different drawing techniques (rough sketching vs. precise sketching) and exploring different textures. I feel as though my pencil has movement and takes on a mind of its own. I also really like that I draw in it when I see something neat. I begin to actually see and observe my environment now.
I enjoy drawing just as much as I ever have. I continue to find it therapeutic and now find it challenging as well. I think the next thing I'd like to tackle in drawing is human figures. Regardless of whether or not I find a class that will teach me that, I know I'll continue to draw throughout my life.