Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rough Drafts

Oh how I wish I wasn't so artistically challenged. For as long as I can remember, I have had no ability whatsoever to sit down, sketchbook and pencil in hand, look at a neatly arranged bowl of fruit or vase of flowers, and recreate an almost carbon copy of the object onto paper. Now, I know this feat is possibly easier said than done, and very few people can actually create said carbon copies... but I would've at least liked to possess the ability to create an image remotely resembling its original. Throughout elementary school, art class consisted of little to no actual instruction, led by a rather discouraging woman who apparently didn't believe in words of endearment, regardless of the fact that her students were between the ages of 6 and 14 and could, at the time, really use it. This coming from a private school. No matter -- from then on, I was convinced that I was incapable of creating any piece of art worth taking even half a second look at. This wasn't just in my head, either... on several occasions since those fruitless elementary school art days I HAVE tried setting aside my personal inhibitions to put in real effort and see what the end result will be. In high school, the one art class I took was one that was required of us, and even then I would actually attempt tirelessly to complete the assignments everyday... only to pass them on to my best friend later (who happens to have impeccable sketching and painting skills) to complete for me.

This all came to mind when, just recently, I was sitting in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and observing a local who looked to be around my age, standing about a foot away from a marble bust and sketching swiftly into a leather bound notebook, glancing up at her subject every so often and very rarely erasing her markings to make adjustments. I admired her then, thinking to myself how lovely it must be to pick up a book and go spend an afternoon at the local museum, sketching away effortlessly (granted, she lives in one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to, a city bursting with art and culture and inspiration, the city that was once home to Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci -- but I digress). I imagine it to be liberating, satisfying, and even somewhat therapeutic. I guess that's what writing is for me, though. I turn to writing when in need of comfort and, more often that not, comfort is what I find. So maybe we all have that sort of medium, there to serve us loyally by providing us with that sense of freedom, relief, comfort, revitalization, whatever it may be -- in the form of drawing, writing, running, creating music, cooking, twirling batons, and so on. So maybe I'm not the next Monet... there's only so much I can do about that. For now, I'll frequent art history courses in place of drawing 101, leaving the painting to the pros and continuing on as an admirer.

Oh and by the way, how great are those sketches? The first is Dolce and Gabbana, second is Christian Dior. I love looking at designer sketches almost as much as I love looking at fine art... I find them so fun and inspiring. See -- appreciation. In this particular case, it's what I do best.

So now, dear readers, I'm curious: what is that one thing YOU turn to when you need to let go and relax? 

images via and


Cafe Fashionista said...

Haha! We are one of a kind; I've always wished that I was truly artistically creative. When it comes to writing I am; but I've never been that great of a sketcher.

Writing, reading, and music are the three things I turn to when I need to let go and relax. :)

L'Amour et la Paix said...

Glad to know I'm not alone in this! xo