Thursday, October 25, 2018

Finding Your Groove

Many years ago, decades ago, I won a gold key in the Scholastic Art Contest. My entry—a charcoal still life drawing done in a class at the Art Student’s League. Today I once again picked up charcoal in an art class.

Charcoal can be a messy medium. This time I, along with several others, wore rubber gloves. Rather than start with a still life we spent an hour playing with the charcoal and erasers. Instead of feeling confined by shapes I allowed my hand and arm to explore line, shade, value.

This permission to explore, encouragement to discover rather than confinement to a subject,  was exhilarating. So when for the second hour we selected a white bone—mine was the head of a goat— and began a contour drawing I felt a looseness earned during the previous hour.

It’s the same with writing a long piece or even a short poem. You may write and write pages before you really discover what it is you want to say.

It’s about getting into the right space.


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