I’m working as an aide to a student with Aspergers Syndrome. This morning was tough for both of us. Then at 11, he switched from refusing to do anything and chose to attend art class, which surprised me, as did his outstanding behavior in class.
The teacher was explaining how to do a shading gradation with charcoal. He asked if I had ever used charcoal and I told him I hadn’t. And then because my student was doing so well and frankly seemed relieved to have a bit of space from me (the feeling was mutual), I asked if I could do the assignment as well.
The room was quiet the only sound was the funny scratching of the charcoal against the paper. It felt wonderful to release some stress through this physical, creative activity. The hour slipped by quickly, and many of the kids in the class came to me afterwards and complimented my work. What a wonderful little mid-day reset!
and really enjoyed the result
I’m really drawn to the quasi-scientific botanical illustrations that I often see on calendars and packaging for beauty products, so I decided to spend some time with one and try to reproduce it. This is from a page in a calendar, and although it doesn’t look exactly like the original, it is quite similar and I’m pleased with the result. I drew first in pencil (and eraser!) and then when I felt pleased with the line placement I went over it in felt pen. Afterwards I wanted to add color, but all I had for this was oil paints and they made a bit of a mess. Still, it was a worthwhile way to spend the afternoon.
Yesterday I was referred to as “the artist” amongst my work colleagues. Me? Who knew! I don’t think it has so much to do with skill as willingness to draw despite intimidation!
I’m drawing daily as a part of teaching English – sometimes a drawing is a better way to explain a concept or to get a student to come up with a word on his or her own.
As part of the English lesson today, I had to draw a car on the whiteboard. I almost drew the standard car shape that I’ve been drawing since I was six, but then I decided to take a moment with it and see if I could do something better. I looked at an image of a car in the book for a reference point, and what emerged on the whiteboard had dimension and style. With my image the class was able to state (or learn) all the basic parts of a car (windshield, tires, license plate, etc.) and I was so proud of my diagram that I left it on the board when the session was over.
A proposed a ‘test’ (which he later rephrased as ‘game’) during the party last night. He took a blank piece of paper and divided it into six boxes. In the first he made a single point, in the second a circle, in the third a diagonal line, in the fourth a large plus sign, in the fifth a triangle, and in the sixth a letter ’s’. Each person had a paper like this.
He said we should add something to each of the drawings, and then he said we should choose two adjectives to describe the resulting image. This part took a while. Everyone felt a bit on display. When everyone had finished their papers he revealed what it all meant:
The first box represents the artist’s feelings about him/herself; the second is how the artist thinks others see him/her; the third is the way the artist sees life; the fourth is the artist’s relationship with the divine; the fifth is the artist’s relationship with his/her family; and the sixth is the artist’s relationship with sex.
I was laughing and sometimes nodding vigorously throughout the interpretation.
The 3-year-olds English class is pretty much completely lacking visual aids. Such small children are potentially fierce critics of limited artistic skills. Ah well, it’s simple, bold, kid-like drawings that appeal to me most.
I never had a photographer for my wedding – I saved money by asking all my guests to take a lot of photos and give me copies of everything. That worked for the most part, but there are some images that exist in my mind and not in digital form. So last weekend I looked through my photos and used a combination of several of them to put together one of the images that I sometimes imagine. Using the photos as a reference point, I drew the wedding picture I wish I had as a photo. I wish I had taken photos of the process of drawing it, because the image changed dramatically during the various stages of its coming into existence. In the end I colored it with oil pastels and turned my not-bad drawing into something rather childlike. Oh well, I’ll try to focus on the positive. It was a lovely experience, and it’s now hanging in Pancake’s study.
I almost started drawing last night, working on a project to recreate one of my wedding photos as a drawing/painting. I have special paper for this, which is nice on the one hand, but on the other hand it intimidates me a bit to draw on the special paper …. WHAT IF I MAKE A MISTAKE?? Usually I draw in pen, but for this one I decided to draw first in pencil. Last night I realized I didn’t know if I have an eraser, and where it would be if I did, so I got all wimpy and didn’t draw at all – not on my special paper or on normal paper, not for this project or any other type of drawing. Grrrr … perfectionist! Anyway, this morning I located not one but two erasers, so I hope to use them to coax forward my drawing spirit and begin this long imagined project today.