Monday, December 4, 2017

Thoughts on Drawing

Where I went to school, there was an art requirement that lasted until the second year of high school. As a lanky tom-boy who was absolutely horrible at sports, a large part of our school community, I found art class to be a safe haven.  It was something that no matter how little ability I had in the beginning, I could work and work on to see some physical proof of how I was improving.  By high school I had determined I wouldn't make it through the stressful school days without some time to create art, stretch my mind, and take a minute for something I enjoyed.  That's when art began to feel like a safe escape for me, which has kept me sketching throughout duke even if its in the minutes I have before bed after a long night of studying.

My true appreciation of art came in the form of my parents best friends.  I always grew up wanting to be a doctor, and now here I am premed at Duke.  My parents best friends both run their surgical departments at UPenn, but also ensure to spend their free time on the art, one spending her time learning orchestral instruments one by one, and the other using his surgical equipment to hone his skills and create beautiful masterpieces.

I was 7 when I went into the studio the first time and Mr. Maguire put his large ophthalmology headset over my head and told me to look through the massively zoomed in lenses.  There was a beautiful and intricately detailed landscape painted on the back of a dime.  He showed me as he made brush strokes with a single strand of hair.  He also makes massive, multiple foot oiling paintings of cows.  And I, as someone who has always been more into math and science, had massive interest in the way he treated each piece as a new type of problem.  Many times he calculated out proportions perfect for the piece, and would segment it into tiny squares.  I would watch mesmerized as he painted each strand of grass, making it twist along in the wind as he dragged his brush across the canvas. It is the Small Bull painting below that I got to the process of its creation.

Here are some pieces from the first gallery opening he ever had.  No date is listed but I remember it being about 10 years ago.  Both are oil on canvas.
Large Inquisitive Cows

Small Bull

It was their influence that led me to write my Duke essay about how I wanted to combine a premed science with a concentration in fine arts.  I have always found art to be a really interesting way to learn how to problem solve, and to have patience and budget my days to make time for things that helped me feel better.  I see a parallel between the surgeon I want to be one day, and the artist I can be in my spare time.  I believe art is something that would greatly enhance such a career, as it challenges the mind to reinterpret things, and problem solve in a new way.  Also as the Maguire's would point out, "A great way to train your fine motor skills so you can adeptly operate on nerves of the eyeball!"

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