Thursday, November 09, 2006

Drawing on the past

First, as a mom, let me say thanks. Your comments of encouragement for and to Juliana has kept her in the studio more, and inspired her greatly. Although she can barely fit in here because of her new head size. I am also fighting for real estate at the cutting table lately. Teasing of course, she is so flattered and surprised at all the fuss.

Watching her make and seeing her progress, had me thinking of what I was doing at her age. I knew very early I wanted to be an artist, never even considered anything else. When I was cleaning and reorganizing my studio several weeks ago, I found an envelope from my first college drawing class. I thought it would be nice to share.

Our assignement was to do pencil drawings of 12 specific objects...plant life, box, clothing, shoes, woodgrain, etc. I was 19 at the time and already pregnant with Juliana. I have always been a perfectionist and extremely self-critical. This is both good and bad when you're an artist. I actually wasn't very pleased with the outcome of my drawing assignment. I remember really stressing over them. I spent so much time reworking, staying up late, though my pregnant (and somewhat scared because of that) self was exhausted after long hours in studio classes and sore from sitting on those horrible wooden drawing horses. I saved the item on the drawing list that I thought would be my favorite for last...the clothing. Having spent so much time on the others, I never finished the last one. I was horrified.

Because I had a very strict teacher, my grade indeed suffered for being incomplete. I couldn't stand it. I felt I had failed.

I see these drawings with such different eyes today. I am so proud of them. I am so proud of the gone 19 yr old ambitious me. I want to go back and encourage myself like you all did for Juliana. Having gained discernment for design in the 15 years since that project, I see that the most interesting one is the one I didn't finish. The rest just did what they were told. That one was left in its beautiful yet to be realized state. I tend to throw symbolism around too much, but I liken that unfinished drawing to the unfinished me...leaving room for growth and for a new life, for my Juliana.

I always thought that I would finish that drawing, but so glad I didn't. In fact I bought some frames today to make an arrangement on my studio wall as a reminder not to be so hard on myself. And to look forward to what will fill in the empty spaces ahead.

Embrace your unfinished self!!!


  1. Anonymous5:42 PM

    Those words are so true. I have one picture I did during classes in interior design. I was so impressed with myself for where it was going, but I never finished it because during school you have such time constraints. Now I realize, none of it means the end of the world. It took me a long time in school to concentrate on actually "learning" something instead of just "doing" something. I finally learned that in a Women's Study class where I turned in a term paper unfinished because I took the time to study my subject more than worry about what I was putting on the page. I wrote my professor a note at the end telling her how much I had learned in her class even though the paper sucked. I got a D on the paper but an A in the class.

  2. Anonymous9:35 PM

    those drawings are amazing pieces, they look like black and white photos, or grayscale. your idea of framing them and putting them up on your wall, is a great idea to inspire yourself. i am really enjoying your blog. only 2 more assignments to go, and then all this inspiration your blog gives me can come into use. :)

  3. What a beautiful, beautiful post. These would be good words for all teenaged girls to hear! (And us "old ladies" too!!)

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