“Drawing, pleasurable and rewarding though it is, is but a key to open the door to other goals.”
“Potatoes? Portraits on potatoes?”
Two things scared me when Stan asked me to paint portraits on potatoes.
Painting and potatoes.
But I was intrigued and felt challenged (by me), so I started painting. I’m not a trained painter, but I am a wanna-be problem-solver. Tell me it can’t be done and I shift gears into the “watch me” mode.
Are you like that? What happens to you when you hit a brick wall / unsolvable problem? There was a time when I rolled over and gave up. Then something happened to me. I think it started when I started drawing in the second grade and friends would ask me, “How do you do that?” That was such a strange question to me. It was as much a mystery to me as it was to them, only I was the one doing it.
The answer to me was in the doing.
I’ve always approached dance and art the same way- teaching my brain to understand something so that my body / hands will do what I want them to do.
What I didn’t expect was to be able to solve problems better as well- the ones outside of the studio.
Wouldn’t you love to tap into the part of your brain that breaks through “impossible” problems and finds new routes where there was once a dead-end? Do you believe that you can? I do. I didn’t know what I was experiencing, but as I started “studying” art I learned some things that maybe you could benefit from knowing, too, if you don’t already.
From “Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain“. Betty Edwards says:
“In drawing, you will delve deeply into a part of your mind too often obscured by endless details of daily life. From this experience (drawing) you will develop your ability to see things freshly in their totality, to see underlying patterns and possibilities for new combinations. Creative solutions to problems, whether personal or professional, will be accessible through new modes of thinking and new ways of using the power of your whole brain.”
I happen to be an artist at heart whether it be drawing, dancing, or writing. But no matter what you are drawn to in life you are going to need to have the skill of solving problems that you’ll face. That skill will make you valuable. And that skill is developed easily (if you ask me).
The simple exercise (from the book) of drawing upside down shows you how much you rely on information you’ve stored of how things are instead of how they really are, and how turning the picture over your brain is free to see it clearly, and you can draw what you see instead of what you perceive. Does that make sense?
So, what to do with that? Enjoy it! Watch what happens after you’ve drawn this picture and turned it right side up, observing the fantastic job you’ve done. Transfer that “seeing” now to everything else in your world. Everything will seem different, as if you’re seeing it for the first time.
Believe it or not, if you keep up this practice, you’ll find yourself “turning” other challenges “upside down” to see them from new perspectives. I’ll bet you start solving some mysteries and creating more profusely, no matter what your profession.
What do you think. Give it a try?
I’m off to do April’s Polar Plunge. Let me know how your drawing goes and I’ll be back later!