Yes, I, too, had my moments of delinquency during my youth. But for today, we’ll gloss over the wine coolers and cigarettes and stick to episodes related to my creative history. Besides, I have a child now, I can’t have my REAL offenses appearing online for him to find someday!
Sorry, Ms. Gjovig. (If it’s any consolation, during my years teaching, several books from my classroom library ended up in the Great Cosmic Library.)
I’ve toted this book (now a pile of papers since the binding has disintegrated) through multiple states, continents, homes, relationships, etc., swearing I was going to finish it.
You’d think I might have finished the book sometime in the last 25 years.
But I will. If I have to be propped up on my death bed and a pencil shoved in my wrinkly, arthritic hand, I will finish this book.
I at least owe that to Ms. Gjovig.
With most of my credits completed by my senior year of high school, I decided to take something fun.
I signed up for a drawing class.
Finally! I was going to learn how to draw, to feel creative, to feel talented.
So I thought.
Here’s what the “still life” in the center of the drawing studio pretty much looked like-
And here’s what I remember my high school art teacher looking like-
I don’t know if he was taking more of a Montessori, student-directed approach to learning, was stoned, or just didn’t give a shit, but direct drawing instruction was not really a part of this class.
Which meant my choices were to sit in class, staring at a pile of crap, or ditch class and hang out with my boyfriend.
Hmm…what to do, what to do…
I was 17. I skipped class. A lot.
. . .
Looking back at it all now, I think there’s an assumption that if you’re pursuing art beyond the age of 10, you already possess some inherent talent or skill for it, making art classes more about nurturing artistic vision than teaching technical skills. Which is unfortunate because I think that a lack of technical skills is why so many folks believe they aren’t artistic and, therefore, aren’t creative.
It’s what I believed. Until I found myself in my first real art class when I was almost 27 years old. I had no artistic background, and suddenly, I was minoring in art.
What the hell was I thinking?
But that’s a story for another day…
P.S. Part 1 of My Creative History can be read here.
P.P.S. If anyone’s interested in working through Betty Edward’s book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, a.k.a. “The Book I Stole”, leave me a comment, tweet me, or email me at nicole (at) threebysea (dot) com. I would love to talk about starting an online group or meetup.