Monday, October 14, 2013


OK, so I understand that this might not be earth-shattering news, but it is a VERY.BIG.DEAL. for me.

I have been in the "I can't draw" category since my kindergarten teacher dissed my drawing of what I thought was a pretty respectable turkey.   Why have I been carrying that critical comment around
for decades?  I mean, really  - I can still picture where I was sitting and how the teacher came around the desk to comment on every one's turkey.   Time to ponder some words of wisdom from Barbara Kingsolver:   "Why is it that we let words of praise go in one ear and out the other, yet we memorize every word of criticism"?  Pretty sure I've had a complement or two since kindergarten that I've totally forgotten, but the dang turkey comment ?  I've been picking that scab for decades.  Time to let it go!

Anyway, a few weeks ago Vivian Swift  (she of the fantastic watercolor miniatures and wonderful blog and books) did a tutorial on how to draw a cat.   I pulled out my notebook as I read her post, and before you could say " that doesn't really look like a turkey",  I had drawn a cat - an honest-to-goodness, looks - like- a -cat cat!   I scared The Captain with my  screeching, "I drew a freakin" cat"!

So now I am in on the dirty little secret of drawing.  Turns out if someone shows you how to do it, non-native drawers like me might be able to make recognizable drawings of simple things.   Who knew?   Honestly, I have spent hours pouring over those "how to draw" books, but they all assume a level of talent not in evidence.  Not so with Vivian Swift's tutorial - she makes no assumptions about skill or talent!   Simple shapes - do this first, then that, and pretty soon, there's a sweet little kitty on the paper.

I took an online class with Claudine Hellmuth  last year and started out by announcing, "Hello, my name is Deb and I can't draw".   Her response: "Of course you can; everyone can draw."  She's a talented lady, but on this issue I thought she was nuts - maybe not!

I have never felt comfortable putting pen to paper in any of my art projects, because of the "I can't draw" thing.  I am now challenging myself to do that thing I'm afraid of - with words, doodles, and maybe even a kitty or a flower .   I have been working through a couple of doodle workbooks and see some progress that comes with practice.  Turns out that this drawing thing might be like everything else we do - the more you do it, the better your get.

I am envious  of people with real drawing talent,  and I am under no illusions that my cat has put me into that league.  I 'm just happy with my kitty and the notion that yes, with some help, I can draw a cat and who knows what else?  Thank you, Vivian!

PS - About that Windows H8 business.  Thanks for this early birthday present from The Captain, no more hate!  (It IS apple season, after all).

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