|red conte on paper, 18 x 24"|
Not to sound arrogant, but I'm pretty smart, pretty good at art - I want to produce all sorts of creative works in a variety of media, and I have the tendency to jump headlong into everything I try ... up until the point at which I'm distracted by the next shiny thing that catches my attention and I jump into that, leaving a dearth of half-finished projects in my wake.
Fast forward to a week ago. I'm taking Advanced Drawing; free classes being one of the perks at the university where I work. Our assignment it to pick a Renaissance artist and copy one of his sketches. Then, produce an original sketch in the artist's style. By now it should be obvious who I picked. And, to be honest, I was pretty proud of the sketch I copied. It turned out well and I got a good grade on it.
However, when it came time to do the second piece, an original sketch in the selected artist's style, I was so burned out from trying to do justice to da Vinci's self-portrait that I honestly didn't care. I approched it like a regular drawing and drew like Paul, not like da Vinci.
|pencil and charcoal on paper, 18 x 24"|
It's real. It's honest in a way the other picture is not, flaws and all.
Don't get me wrong, there are certainly things I could get hung up on and criticize - the face, for example. But that line of thinking always pits me against myself: "I'm not da Vinci!" I'd gripe as I started to chafe at the differences in skill between myself and a dedicated Renaissance master; an all-to-common conversation, I'm embarrassed to admit.
And then, for the first time, it hit me: No, I'm not da Vinci, I'm Paul.
And I'm okay with that.