Graphite Dreams


You’ve no doubt heard that expression about doing at least one thing a day that scares you. Normally I avoid that advice and revel in my comfortable routine. But today was different. Today I did something I’ve never done before and took part in a drawing class. For someone like me who has trouble holding a pen and signing my own name, drawing even simple straight lines and circles in front of someone for whom that is second nature is a little unnerving. But I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking this intro class, and I ended up enjoying the experience.

Light classical music played throughout the studio filled with easels, challenging objects to draw, and stunning student artwork. We worked standing at easels holding our pencils like a conductor holds their baton, which is a style completely foreign to me. But as I kept at it I started to feel more comfortable toward the end of the session. The instruction was gentle and supportive, but not as plentiful as I had anticipated. As an absolute beginner I was hoping for some prescriptive instruction–how to hold the pencil properly; how much pressure to apply, etc.–but instead we launched into the drawing exercise straightaway. And even after almost two hours of trying to draw circles in this studio’s preferred method, I still have a lot of work to do. I also have to decide if I want to immerse myself in the classical drawing style this studio teaches. The named owner of the studio who met us and showed us around her space is passionate about her method and artistry, and, while I see the benefits of learning in the classical tradition, I’m not sure it’s the path I want to take. I do want to continue this challenge and take some type of drawing course, but I’m going to need to take some time to consider what my true goals and needs are before making a commitment.


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