{30} Learning to draw

I’ve always wanted to be a competent artist, able to draw images as I see them. I’m especially enchanted by the male form, which intrigued my therapist. “Why men?” she asked, I suppose in contrast to female nudes or landscapes.

I explained that I felt I had something to say about the male physique, that I believe my artistic vision of what I want to draw is interesting and unique. I referenced Mapplethorpe, and how his very particular style is unlike anyone else’s photographs, how his imagery is startling in its uniqueness and showed us male bodies that were presented as works of art. His artistic vision was his own, copied by many but the purity of which has not been duplicated. That is how I want my drawings to exist and be viewed: as unique testaments to what I see as an artist.

But my problem is that I’m not skilled enough to bring my vision to the surface in my drawings.

As I explained to my therapist, I am good at drawing copies of photographs but not good enough to reveal what my mind’s eye sees in them.

Unfortunately, I’m not very patient with myself. I get frustrated with drawing and walk away for days, weeks (years) at a time. I’m trying to slow down, do this practice with focus and dedication. It means only doing little bits of a drawing a day, maybe just as much as sketching out the proportions/outline. As soon as I start grinding my teeth in frustration, I put the pencil down.

I suppose this will take years before I get where I want to be. Remind me, when I complain, that it took even longer for me to learn to write confidently enough to pen this blog post.

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