The Appeal

This reposted post by Danny Gregory gave me one of those ‘aha’ moments yesterday. Here’s an extract:

Drawing is about reaching for pure being. Not making pretty pictures to put in frames and on websites. The world doesn’t need more pictures. It needs peace and connection. It needs people who can accept reality and don’t feel compelled to control their environments. If you can look at a boot, at a rotting apple, at car’s worn tire, at an old man’s foot, and see it for what it is, without value or judgement, can see the beauty and particularity of the thing, you will find peace. You will avoid being covetous. You will be happy with what you have. You will accept others more readily, will see the sunshine on a cloudy day.

What I miss most from the times I worked as an illustrator and/or attended a weekly painting class, is how it made me see the world around me. My former painting teacher used to call it ‘getting your eye in’. The only down side was that once you were so attuned to visual beauty, you’d get frustrated that you can never have the time (let alone the skill) to capture it all in paintings.

And even if you did, where would you store all those paintings?

This, I suspect, is where the appeal is in sketchbooks. I can ‘get my eye in’ and keep it in, and develop my drawing skills, without filling up my house with artwork.