Three weeks ago, I packed my Prius and headed north on I-25, rolling over the hills and plains of Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota, traveling 500 miles. Just before I reached Canada, I turned east and drove another 500 miles. Gradually the prairie gave way to clusters of trees, and I found myself passing through familiar territory of my hometown. There, I visited my family before continuing the final 75 miles to Duluth, MN.
Today, we finished our first week of class, and I’m exhausted. Standing in front of an easel for 7 hours a day, copying drawings, measuring angles, distance, space, and line, we search for errors of millimeters, all in preparation for working with a model in October, where fractions of inches and angles make a difference.
One of the greatest challenges is maintaining focus for lengthy periods of time. Luckily, the time is punctuated with short lectures and critiques. We generally slip on our headphones and get lost in a world of line and shape, coming up for air at lunchtime. Occasionally there’s a mutter as we talk to ourselves, or a sigh of frustration as we miss our mark.
Slowly, we are developing our ability to see and enable our hands and pencils create the mark we want. Paper, pencil, eraser. The simplest of tools that provide the foundation for great works of art. What will we do with those tools? Where will this path lead?
Much like learning to play the piano, we start with the basic notes, finding our own version of middle C with a plumb line. From there, we practice scales and small melodies of abstract shapes. To move into chords, we must first master the basic notes. And to do that, we must practice, and practice, and practice.
First, I will sleep. Have a great weekend, friends.
PS: It’s been raining all week. Waves of water and wind. Definitely not sunny Colorado. Thank goodness for Amazon delivery. My vitamin D arrived Tuesday.