Over 30 years ago I started my Art education and I’m still working on it. Since through High School my major was in music, (I was a trumpet player, saxophonist and conductor), I didn’t discover until my mid-20’s my talent for art. Having bought a Jon Gnagy Learn to Draw set as a birthday present for Stephen, the son of my friend Roberta, a few days before his party I tore off the wrapping paper and began my art career. That night, I found what I’d never found in 10 years of musical training. I felt as if those pieces of chalk, pencils and paper were physically part of me and I was now complete.
After putting my sons to bed each evening, I’d pull out a wooden board and set it on my dining room table and begin my classes again. I remember the serenity I’d feel. It echoed the quiet contemplation I’d get as a child coloring within the lines with my Crayola crayons in my coloring books and later with Venus Paradise colored pencil kits. I remember, as a child, the enjoyment of trying to create volume by shading with darker and lighter values of the same colors. His lessons helped to explain what I’d been searching for.
As a child I believed that you couldn’t be an artist unless you could draw a straight line. Using loose-leaf paper as a guide I tried endlessly to draw straight lines freehand with a pencil and failed miserably. With this fact I knew I couldn’t be an artist and this freed me to just do whatever I did. It wasn’t art, it wasn’t creative, it was just me.
I used rulers.
And yes, I bought another Learn To Draw kit and gave it to Stephen in time for his party. We both ended up as art majors in college.