Drawing the line.

Some say that eight is the number that signifies new beginnings ?
This might be true for me too, as there is an eight in 2018, and I have drawn the line on being wasteful with my time. Living in the slow lane can cause one to stagnate, and that is not a good or acceptable thing, when life is so full of wonderful sights and sounds and beauty all around, waiting to be captured and appreciated in one form or another.

So I wrote myself in for a few drawing classes. I think I’ve always had a slight bent toward art, and an inkling to want to paint or draw, but knew that would require more talent than I had.

When I met up with June Dovey, who is a fine-art artist, and a teacher of immense patience, she agreed to teach me to draw, and said “if you can draw you can paint. ”   And so began my classes on tones, shapes, forms  and shading with portraiture and perspective to follow later – the foundational basis of drawing, for art,  – and for getting to know oneself a little better.

Shapes and Formss

It takes a large smidgen of courage to step into the unknown.  All sorts of hidden emotions, lying dormant, began to rise up and whisper in my head. There was Self Doubt, an old familiar voice spoke softly ” You, draw ! – you don’t have the talent !” What if its wrong ? Rejection put in its penny’s worth with, “what if its not perfect?” and “it won’t be good enough, these people are real artists.”

“What are you doing here ?” I asked myself, more than one time.

I did not know that a blank sheet of paper could be so intimidating. “It’s just a piece of paper” my teacher would say over and over.

Then I discovered the smidgen of courage I needed to take up the challenge and began to draw the lion !

My first drawings were skew and misshapen, and looked like they had been drawn by an arthritic hand, but my dear teacher would just say  “keep going.”  I did and things got better.

New beginnings,  and a new world began to emerge for me. I began to “see”  simple everyday things, which have always been there, but now I see them in shapes,  and forms with shadings.  And if I apply shading to my drawings they “pop” into reality, and become dimensional. Its amazing! Light and shade are imperative to drawing.  And without shading all is only one dimension.  Light, dark and shading bring dimension, and depth to pictures. I know everyone knows that, but it was new to me, especially as I saw it come alive  before my own eyes !

And isn’t life itself like that, for without light there is no shadow or shade, all would be darkness. And without an object, there would be no witness to light !!  Here indeed is serious food for thought. Read more here.

The class on portraiture was a difficult one for me.  It needs a lot of practise.  But what I discovered was the eyelid !!   I’ve never noticed eyelids before, and we all have them. When I now look at people I see their eyelids.   Even the presenters on the TV screen, I look for and see eyelids !

Drawing helps you see things, you have seen before, but haven’t “seen” them into existence ! – if you know what I mean ?

Its been a wonderful few weeks of drawing, and I hope to continue to learn more, when the classes resume.

Just to show off some of my new-found “talent” I’m posting a few drawings.  Now don’t be to critical, its a new beginning for me.  I do not have much talent, but what I have has been taught to me, by a good and lovely teacher, who loves art.

I  took great comfort in a quote I came across from Emilie Lee, a seasoned artist who said this to the question asked :

What is the most overrated virtue bestowed on art ?

“I think the idea of talent is so misunderstood.  I don’t even use the word.   Artistic skill comes from many years of practise, commitment and hard work.   The way we talk about talent among artists is so unproductive.   I often meet people who tell me  ” I have zero artistic talent”  and I think that is a self-defeating statement !   I think they just haven’t had the right teacher come along.

My arum lillies

My Arum Lilly.  One of the initial attempts, and starting to dabble with colour.

Lion drawing

I have named my first lion-drawing Courage.  It took courage for me to draw this one. Not half as nice as the photograph I referenced,  but you can see its a lion, yes?

Sugar Bird

 The sugar bird and Strelitzia turned out to be a nice surprise.

I love colour, and discovered water-colour pencils !!   What a find.      colored pencils cluster

I drew the line at stale, stagnate and same-old-same-old, made a    small new beginning and discovered the world of drawing, of paper and pencils, of shape, form, light and shadows – and if you add a splash of colour, the pictures reverberate with vibrancy.

Drawing has taught me what could be a life lesson too – always keep your pencil sharp !!

Pencil

FREEDOM DAY

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SOUTH AFRICA!

images.jpg fireworks

Today is Freedom Day in South Africa.  It is a public holiday to remind us that twenty one years ago the cloak of Oppression was lifted when all South Africans freely went to the political polls to vote for a new government to rule the country and its peoples. Twenty one years is a short period of time when one thinks in terms of nations.  Liken that to a person, and one can understand that the new South Africa has a long way to go in becoming a full mature, functional and prosperous nation.  At twenty one who isn’t still wet behind the ears, coming through the troubling teenage years with all its rebelliousness, rejections, broken promises and looking to find true identity and purpose. It is not easy, even for the best of us !  The distressing recent xenophobia displays, and rapid peace interventions are perhaps a sign on a maturing process taking place….a getting to know thyself of sorts.  Happy birthday South Africa, may the next 21 years find you firmly engaged in building and planting prosperity and peace on the African continent.

And don’t forget to plant your Care Gardens for the Care Africa Movement project.
Plant some seeds in your yard, for food, and Plant a garden in your heart by reading the Bible every day to feed your soul. Send me a photo with your name or project’s name and help me build a photo blog with your Care Garden on it.

Freedom is not cheap, and Oppression comes in huge forms. Vividly seen from the TV news are evident results of oppressive leaders and governments who are hell bent on holding onto power, position and wealth, in spite of great cost to their own people.  War, mass protest marches, mass migration from nation to nation seems to be a sign that Oppression rules almost everywhere in our Global Village.

But Oppression also comes in subtle forms, often nestles in the soul, and in the family where it is not so easy to detect, yet the outward reaction tells the tale.  And when you think about it, is the soul not the place where the darkness can grow until it reaches  monsterous proportions.?  Eventually it vents itself into further Oppression causing  the cycle of death, demise destruction – creating dark and dingy prisons of sadness, shame, sorrow and mourning –  resulting in the captive soul – and a loss of liberty.  Oppression causes this to happen on the soul, family, national and global level, as history has shown us.   And peace is far off !

The Bible speaks of setting the captives free.  Luke 4 and Isaiah 61 are Bible pieces that depict the human condition.  It brings with it hope to those who are oppressed, depressed and suppressed.  Those who  battle depressions, afflictions and addictions – seekers for peace, but also for those who are the peace-bringers .

       … To preach good tidings to the poor,
            He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted,
            To proclaim liberty  to the captives,
            And recovery of sight to the blind,
           To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
           To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

This is a song for freedom, true freedom, that transcends any tyrant or political system or person, or addiction that can hold us captive.  Its the song of salvation that Jesus Christ sings over us… for He came to set the captives free.  The real day of freedom is the day of salvation, the day of second chances and new beginnings, a freedom that is well worth celebrating.            

images.jpg fireworks