.....and other random stuff......

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

in 7th grade

in 7th grade i had an art teacher who made us draw a tree that stood outside the classroom window. the first day we sat outside and drew the tree from a distance . the next time we got closer and drew it again.

then he had us get up close and touch the tree. feel it, look at the texture of the bark, hug it, take rubbings. we pulled off leaves and made rubbings of those.

he had us draw it again, and again, and again. summer, fall, winter, and spring, we drew that tree over and over, all through the year.

at the end of the year he put all the drawings on the walls. from floor to ceiling, covering every inch of the walls, the evolution of our drawings of that tree. from the very first tentative sketches to the final detailed color drawings. it was an amazing lesson.

and this is what he said to us:
 “it’s not the ‘drawing’ it is the ‘seeing’.”
now that i’m sketching again his words have come back to me, and i get it. here’s to ‘seeing’.

(an aside to the story: that was the last art class i ever took in school.
that year they tested us and put some of us in the ‘advanced class’. took away art and made us take spanish and advanced math.
which explains why, to this day, i can’t draw, algebra looks like hieroglyphs to me, and the only spanish i remember is ‘dondé ésta la biblioteca¿’ lol!

(i wonder where i would be now if i hadn’t been tested!)

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