Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rabbit Trail of a Thought

A quick late-night rabbit trail thought for you to follow, if so intrigued…

I've noticed this old man in my neighborhood who always sits outside on his patio working intently on his laptop. He wears a headset with a microphone and has a stack of books and a tall beverage by his side. He's AWLAYS out there. I drive by several times during the day, and even at the end of the day, he's still sitting out there. He has invented a strong recipe for chair butt glue is my guess.

That, or it's his job and he's required to sit out there.

Or, it's his passion and he LOVES sitting out there.

I'm thinking it's the latter - which is really inspiring, and leads me to this next thought:

It's Sunday night and I am preparing for class tomorrow - Figure Drawing II for Computer Animation. We are having a critique and a pop quiz on some reading from Walt Stanchfield's book Drawn to Life. As I review the reading material, I find myself falling even deeper in love with art, sketching, storytelling. It's often confounds me that this is a textbook and that I have the great privilege to teach this stuff. Stuff like observation, emotion, the hidden truths of life, and how to show it ALL in a simple gesture drawing. As artists, we study things that most people aren't trained to see. Like angles in a pose…

"Some of the most graceful people are put together with 45 degree angles. Watch them - they seem to have studied how to play one angle off another to create those tantalizing poses. Sometimes the angles of cheek against neck, or hand against cheek are so subtle they are felt rather than seen." -Walt Stanchfield.

Meanwhile, other students at some other university are studying for a lab test on microbials.

But the artist - while we may not make a scientific breakthroughs that change the face of humanity, we do make pictures that reflect the beauty of life to those now living (and those yet to come), to imbue hope and restore love, to evoke an emotional catharsis, uplift and entertain. Does not this literally change the face - and heart - of humanity?

I feel there is a lot going on much deeper in art than we will ever be able to perceive…or appreciate.

To return to the old man sitting on his patio - in my mind I link him to this other quote byWalt Stanchfield...

" Hours and hours should be spent with anatomy books, old Disney films, and scenes of the old masters. Also much time must be spent flexing one's emotional muscles with 'essence' sketching, reading a great variety of authors - novels, biographies, psychology, metaphysics, and of course, humor. Don't be like a friend who used to say he was waiting for the 'light to come on.' Well, he was a real charming guy but he retired before the light came on. Moral: Don't wait. Immerse yourself in the search now."

I guess what I want to say in summary is this:  I am grateful to be an artist and a teacher. I have always been intrigued by spiritual things and how the life force is woven into our physical beings. It is a rewarding and passionate pursuit for God, beauty, knowledge and understanding -  a search worth immersing oneself in.