Monday, December 3, 2012


To explain the events of my semester long sashay into the arts, I will use a series of quotes from some of my favorite artists.

To quote the artist occupying the latest exhibit in the Nasher (Matisse) “Creativity takes courage”. As someone who really knew nothing of drawing or art going into this class I can promise you that I was blindsided by the amount of courage it actually took to put a pencil to a piece of paper and draw. I’m pretty sure that in the beginning it took me at least three times the amount of time it took everyone else to finish a drawing. I finally realized that it was because I spent so much time watching what everyone else was doing or nervously planning that first stroke in my head. I still struggle with really committing my pencil to the paper but I think I have improved as it doesn't take me three times as long anymore. Maybe just twice as long…

To quote Edgar Degas, “painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” I believe this characterizes the middle few weeks of my drawing experience. As I begin to improve in my drawing I felt as though there was a brief period of time when the drawing actually got harder. As we began to learn about perspective and lines it became even harder for me to make that initial stroke with the pencil.

A turning point came for me about a month ago with a drawing I did of a bridge in the garden. For some reason I was able to spend a little more time on this piece and something just clicked. I felt as though I blinked and my drawing didn't look cartoonish or scribbled anymore – it looked like the drawings my peers had been turning in all semester. Although this piece and the following ones weren't perfect, I was able to find solace in a quote I had always known as Salvador Dali’s; “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it”.

In the last week of my drawing class I feel as though I have gotten out of this class exactly what I didn't come for – a challenge. I have learned not only so much about drawing but also a lot about myself. This drawing class might have been the most challenging class I have ever taken at Duke. When I thought of drawing or any other creative endeavor I used to explain to friends that my brain just didn't work that way, however now I know that is just not the case. I hope that I continue to drawing and learning from the way my skills become better with every stroke. My inspiration to continue drawing comes from a quote by Paul ValĂ©ry who said, “an artist never really finishes his work; he merely abandons it.” I now know my adventure into the world of art is not over- my drawings have left so much to be finished. 

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