Thursday, May 03, 2007

the big "c"

My sister and I always talk about how the "Big C" is the most attractive quality a person can have. What is the "Big C" you might ask? The "Big C" is Confidence.

Mine is running a little low at the moment. I'm in a bit of a drawing dry spell. For the last few days I haven't been creating any work that I am proud of and day-by-day it is getting more difficult to draw. Luckily, I know that this is only a temporary thing. Soon enough I'll do something I feel good about and get back on track. In the meantime, however, I'm taking notes.

I'm learning how drawing comes so much easier when you are happy with the results and how the process isn't nearly is fun if you don't like the outcome. I think these off-days are important to keep in mind when working with beginning drawing students. How can I help students learn who feel that nothing they produce turns out looking good? How can I help build their confidence?

Maybe working with crude materials helps? I think so. Crayons and a paper tablecloth aren't too intimidating.


Karen at Pen in Hand said...

Suzanne - I know what you mean. We're supposed to be all about the process, but the truth is it's more fun when stuff turns out well.
Here's one meager thought: Grids.
I love grids because they impose order on a composition, so even if the drawings themselves aren't one's best effort, the whole thing sort of comes together. That's probably a lame, too-solution-oriented response to your larger, more philosphical question, but it's what came to mind.

Lynne said...

I know exactly how you feel... and I think you're so in tune with the bigger picture. It is all about ebb and flow... but the important part is to keep showing up at the page, regardless of what the outcome is. Keep your chin up... this too shall pass -- and in the meantime, enjoy the opportunity to get in touch w/your inner child with those crayons! :-)

Ari-Asha said...

An art teacher I have just read a quote from Wolf Kahn about how now he doesn't end up creating problems in his work that require protracted solutions. He further wrote that this was a loss for him. I thought that was very interesting, and in some zen/in the moment/stay present way, very inspiring.

Africantapestry said...

unfortunatly that is just so part of our journey...and I can only agree with Lynne...just show up at the page. A while ago, I was stuck and a friend on EDM wrote to me on my blog and told me to just draw 5 things from my bathroom..(See Carole Kirk). Very listless, I did that and although I still felt it was awful, I felt good about doing it! So maybe I should say the same to you...just draw 5 things from your bathroom, don't think about it, just do it! Hang in will pass!

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

Once in awhile, a post on a blog, will really resonate with me ... this is a great one. Love all the comments you are receiving ... they all help.

José Louro said...

Draw, draw, draw...Thanks for your comment.

suzanne said...

Thank you all so much for your comments. It's reassuring to know that this is something we all go through.

wagonized said...

Gosh do i know the feeling. I know it all the better since it's been happening to me for the past few days. A sort of paralysis that i was putting down to my cold but that is turning out to run a bit deeper. No matter how much i try to convince myself, by reading Julie Cameron and Danny Gregory, that the result doesn't matter, and that the process of drawing should outweigh the fear of messing up badly... the result does matter. It's a huge motivation to go on. I don't know anyone who can produce crap over and over and get back on the saddle for yet another merry ride. The frustration i encounter with my own limits is ego-crushing and discouraging at best.
So, i love Ronnell's idea of "showing up at the page" (gosh, that's well put) and draw whatever is in front of you. And in a couple of drawings, the thrill will be back. Your bathroom stuff is fun to look at. I should give it a try.
Thanks for sharing, Suzanne.

Karen Blados said...

I am so where you are right now and that's why I visit your site and others. Not because you're not liking your work right now, but because I'm not liking mine either. I'm in such a mood I have to force myself to draw something. And knowing that other artist's face the same struggles doesn't make my day easier, but it makes me more sympathetic to myself. I can ease up a bit on me because other people have to same issues.

Thanks so much for sharing.