Imaginary Animals

And, it’s the end of week two at the Florence Academy. I’m still working entirely in pencil, copying Bargue drawings or anatomy drawings, and drawing the human figure from life.
This week, the thing that excited me the most was seeing a dog in my drawing.

See it? He’s got an open mouth with his tongue sticking out, facing to the right.
I know, this sounds silly, but bear with me. Cornelia, one of the instructors was explaining using one’s imagination by seeing shapes (like animals) in a drawing can help to see the drawing in a fresh way. Drawing involves seeing relationships – relationships of length, volume, value, etc. In order for me to draw, for instance, a hand, I need to be able to visually deconstruct all the visual relationships and see the hand in terms of visual realities. The “animal” trip is one trick that helps with visual deconstruction.
It’s funny, I think people think of artist as creative. Sometimes, I’m not even sure was that word means. I’m not particularly good at “coming up with things.” I found myself staring at my drawing for quite awhile, trying to see some kind of animal. When the dog jumped out at me, I actually burst out laughing. It was really a surprise, and it delighted me.
Maybe this is significant because, especially in areas in which I may consider myself knowledgable, I have a hard time seeing things in new ways. And, I do think that is part of what art does. It gives a view of something *according to someone.* And, maybe, I see a dog and a spaceship, and a pigeon where other people see a hand – and that means I can represent it more fully and accurately.
So, I’m going to try to see some more dogs this week and be surprised at what jumps out at me.

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