At 17 I had my first year of my Fine Art degree at uni.
Which entailed my first life drawing class.
Now, apart from being confronted with the whole nudity thing (which I was so awkward about in the beginning, but in the end I was so desensitized by it was just like looking at a bowl of fruit... and no jokes about bananas or peaches please) I was suddenly terrified. I had to stand to draw, which was completely foreign to me and in my hand was a piece of dirty black charcoal.
To begin with, the whole act of standing at arms length to produce quick drawings with a piece of willow charcoal was totally against my nature, and I fought with it for ages. However weeks dissolves into week and I felt my mind slowly accepting change, and to simply not care about any mistakes I made. My drawing became free, and uninhibited. I began to love the imperfection, and any mistakes made etched into my paper. They were beautiful.
There is no art which has not had its beginnings in things full of errors. Nothing is at the same time both new and perfect. Leon Battista Albert
I see it all the time in students. The tightness. The unwillingness to produce something spontaneously as the fear of imperfection is so great. The constant erasing, screwing up of paper and the clincher, I can't draw.'
On Thursday I threw our normal lesson out the window for Studio Arts, and we pulled the room apart to create an impromptu studio. Two mannequins were set up, and my kids had 20 seconds to draw one. Beautiful lines, loose arms and, the best part, a new confidence.
The sketches are plastered all over the wall at the front of the room. Each person that walks in stops and stares at them, their eyes roaming over the light and shade. They've created more interest than any finished piece that has takes weeks to create.
There are no mistakes, only new doors opened by misplaced marks. Don't let your surface be precious. Brian Petroski