I've loved to draw ever since I was a little kid. My earliest memories of drawing go back to elementary art classes and taking drawing courses at the local art center. It seems that every kid loves to draw (to some extent) but that interest fades away for some people. I continued to draw/paint in high school through the art department, but by the time I got to Duke my priorities shifted and there was very little time to devote to hobbies.
Throughout my four years here, I've browsed through the art courses during every registration window. The fact of the matter is, I really missed it. But, major, minor, and graduation requirements always took precedent over taking "that cool art class." As a second semester senior, I finally had the opportunity to take the drawing class that I had been eyeing for the past three years.
Drawing is one of those activities that is just soothing. You can sit, observe, and draw without experiencing the stress and anxiety that often accompany our daily tasks. Time flies when you're drawing. It's almost as if the concentration required to observe and recreate what you see leaves no room for the stress and thoughts that bog down our minds.
I've really enjoyed this class because it has allowed me to return to a pastime that I had stepped away from. People say practice makes perfect. This definitely applies to drawing. I was surprised at how much my approach to drawing changed over the course of the semester. Through practice and instruction, I "learned" new ways to look at an object/subject. Simple things like noticing negative space can completely change the way you draw something. People tend to believe that when it comes to artistic talent, you either have it or you don't. This class has definitely confirmed that practice and instruction can result in real improvement and skill.