Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thoughts on Drawing

           Art has always had a special place in my life. I majored in visual arts when I attend a middle school for the arts. So, everyday for three years, I would draw, paint, or make pottery for three hours. Sometimes, I thought art was very boring, especially when we would draw the same still life for months, but the feeling of satisfaction of completing a piece was something that never got old for me.
            One thing I like about art is that it can always be changed. Not matter how “final” the draft is that I am working on, I can always find something that I need to edit or something that needs to be altered despite the fact that I had “completed” it. The feeling of never being done is something that attracts me to art which is why I always strive to be better with each piece. One thing I dislike about art is how much patience it requires. I can’t just sit for three hours straight and make a piece from start to finish. It requires concentrated effort for hours across multiple days, weeks, or months. I am a very impatient person so its difficult for me to see the piece coming together even though I’ve worked on it a while.
            Types of art that I enjoy are paintings that involve lots of color. I love how colors can dramatically add to a piece. The more vibrant, the better, in my opinion. I do miss working with colored pencils, but I do appreciate having to pay extra attention to detail in order to accurately portray something in black and white using pencil and charcoal.
            I have always admired works by Vincent Van Gogh. I was able to see his masterpieces at the Louvre Museum when I visited Paris in 2006. What I particularly loved was of course the colors and his attention to detail in using individual brush strokes to portray a subject. I have Starry Night hanging in my room because it seems so mystical and descriptive at the same time. Questions that I contemplate are: what is the massive dark structure being portrayed in the foreground? What town is depicted in the rolling hills? Paintings like Starry Night are interesting to look at because they tell a story. This year, I have tried to tell a story in my drawings as well.
            Drawing at Duke has been fun, but difficult. It is so easy to get wrapped up in other things that I think I do not have the time to sit down and devote hours to a drawing. I was surprised that I was able to do this this semester. I have appreciated just sitting outside and enjoying the view while drawing what I see. Taking this class has allowed me to find the time that I thought I didn’t have to devote to art. I hope I can continue this even when I graduate.

Me with Self Portrait by Vincent Van Gogh at the Louvre in 2006.

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