Friday, August 27, 2010

The Non-Artist Wants to Draw

Since I landed in this city 28 hours ago, I've wanted to draw. Now this may be confusing to some of you. I am a professed inexpert at the art (ha, ha) of drawing. I declare my stick figures to look like decaying cabbages and my shading to be kindergarten scribbles. I cannot recreate a statue on a piece of paper, no matter how long I look or how close I get to it (though I have come pretty close to setting off the alarm around the Dégas ballerina sculptures in the Fogg museum in Harvard Square).

I accept my lack of artistic ability with as much grace as I (who tend towards perfectionism) can. I haven't really drawn anything since my junior year at Waring, and even then all I remember is sitting in the Musée Rodin with Sharna and feeling like a fool because I could not for the life of me make the hand I was drawing look like anything but an imaginary hermit crab on its back, and she was capturing the shadows of afternoon light on her exact rendition of Rodin's "The Kiss."

But Waring put the desire to draw in me. When I get near a museum I start to itch for a piece of sketchbook paper and a stick of graphite or charcoal. I am ready to sit in front of one painting, monument or fountain and put my interaction with it down on paper. I want to record the event of seeing that fountain or painting, not in digitally accurate pixels or enhanced images. I want to record what my eyes are doing with the art. And I owe that to Waring. And now that I've taken my first trip near (near, mind you, not in) monuments and museums, my fingers are getting sketchbook fever. I brought one with me, originally thinking, "how impressively liberal artsy of me! I'm bringing a sketchbook with me - no one will think I'm a 20 year old girl from Boston!" Well, of course people know that I'm 20 (I could probably be mistaken for 15 some days), and I look too lost on the Metro to pass as a DC inhabitant, so no charcoal stick or smudging of graphite on blank paper will help me.

But what has surprised me is that the desire is real - my words on this blog about what I'm seeing, and what I anticipate seeing in the next days and weeks doesn't come close to showing you in pictures. And so, while I cannot create for you the beautiful paintings or sketches I wish I could, I will be venturing out tomorrow, sketchbook in bag, to record my first glimpses of this city. Be on the lookout for some pictures of my endeavors in the next couple of days!


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