Smith Warehouse holds a particularly fond place in my heart because it is actually the reason I chose to come to Duke. While I had drawn as a young girl, only because my mother used to be an artist, it didn't become an integral part of me until the end of my sophomore year in high school. Junior and senior year, it became my life. I fell in love with the way it freed me, and no matter what idea I had in my head, when it hit the paper it always surprised me; it was always so much more alive. One of the college decisions I had to make was whether I wanted to go to art school or whether I wanted to have a liberal arts education. Because I also had other academic interests, I decided that a liberal arts education would be best. After touring school after school, learning as much about their visual arts programs as I could, I still felt like I was coming up empty. Then I came to Duke, the first school where a professor agreed to show me the facilities, individually, and explain the program. I knew that it was a developing program with wonderful faculty and I was sold.
But freshman year I actually got heavily involved with art history research, and have continued that research for about the past year and a half. I was drawn into studying art and decided to declare as an art history major. I had to declare early because I participated in the Duke in NY Arts and Media program. But then I realized that I couldn't leave practicing art behind because, as cliche as it sounds, I never really felt whole without doing it. So I'm in the process of switching to a double major.
This is the first truly visual art class that I've been able to take here at Duke. Throughout high school I always drew, never painted, but my drawings were in color pencil and photorealistic. Most of all, they were much, much smaller, and I always took quite a while to finis When I learned that we'd have to be doing 2 18 by 24 drawings a week, I almost panicked. I had never had to draw that much, so quickly in my life. I also had little to no experience with drawing from observation. This class has been incredibly helpful for me in that respect. It has helped my hand-eye coordination tremendously and my perception has become much better. I have also learned how to handle pencil and charcoal more fluidly over a larger space. This class has introduced me to a more loose type of drawing, since before I have always been very technical. I have also learned that I love drawing figures. I cannot wait to take figure drawing when it is offered! I'm in print making next semester and I'm so excited about learning a new technique of art-making.
Art means everything to me, quite literally, in all forms. It's something that I can't let go of even if I wanted to, which is really refreshing. I've quite enjoyed this class and like that it has forced a pencil back into my hand!