It’s before dawn on an autumnal wet kind of day here in County Wicklow. I’m up early because there’s a lot to do before I leave for my classes. Today it’s drawing… not my favourite but I want to improve so I continue to practice. Last week on my day off I found myself near the National Art Gallery on Merrion Square. Although I do love to visit, usually I go there only if I have time to kill while waiting for an appointment or a meeting. When I realised how close I was I went there purposefully… to practice my drawing.
(Printing practice… possible wallpaper design?)
Practicing my drawing might seem straightforward, all I need is a pencil, paper and a subject, right? No. Well, yes I do need the pencil and paper, but I carry those with me all the time now and non-moving subjects are readily available. There are other requirements… 1.Making a choice – it is sometimes tempting to wander from potential subject to even better potential subject and the available time is gone before I have even started. 2.Opening the notebook – it is also tempting to wait until the coast is clear and there is none nearby before I open the notebook and take the pencil in my hand…. (“Oh look, someone drawing”). It’s scary but I must be brave.
(Printing practice…. using a net the oranges come in)
3.Making a start – possibly the most important requirement, the potential for disaster is huge. Well… disaster might be too dramatic a word but if I don’t start there’s no drawing. 4.Perseverance, defined as, the steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. Very useful because at this point there are many thoughts going through my head…. You don’t have enough time. On consideration, this is not a good subject. You need more practice to attempt this one. There’s someone coming, quick put your notebook away! What about a nice green tea and a scone instead? Time’s up!
(Then we went for lunch)
So much of what I’m learning on this course of drawing, painting, printing and ceramics can be applied to any area of life. 1. Make a choice. 2. Open the notebook – be willing to be different. 3. Make a start. 4. Persevere in spite of difficulties. Last week in the art gallery I found a statue, sat down and practiced drawing and my drawing skills are improving… a bit…. very slowly, so I’m learning patience too.
Go Practice, Mairead.
PS not ready to share the drawing practice…. yet.