I sent out my annual plea to my girls but this time through text. “What do you want for Christmas? Get me your lists ASAP.” Madison, my middle daughter, wrote back immediately and said, “I want you to paint me a picture,” with another text coming in right after it, “Do the art book you bought!!! The one where you draw yourself at the beginning and one at the end.”
I had to laugh out loud at this request because I made a similar request of Madison a few weeks ago. You see, my daughter has talent and experience in art. She’s in an art college, for Pete’s sake. I asked her to create a painting for my office–I thought it’d be an easy thing for her to do, inexpensive, and it’s her freaking talent! Talk about getting off easily. No shopping, no significant money needed, just a quick slip, slap, slop, and voila, a present. I would have been happy with anything Madison created.
She apparently feels the need to get me back for this request, though. I thought I was doing her a favor by making my birthday/Christmas easy but I thought wrong. Madison was referring in her text to a book I bought Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards on May 21, 2017, a full 6 1/2 months ago. It arrived on my doorstep and it stayed on my kitchen counter for a week or two until I got my office put together where the book and its supplemental workbook AND the accompanying drawing set went straight into a cabinet–never to be remembered until my darling daughter reminded me of its existence via text.
Although I love to read, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain seemed like too much reading–I wanted to get to work on transforming my heinous drawing skills (stick people are even a challenge) to getting paid for drawing people’s portraits (such ambition!). I didn’t want to slog through chapter after chapter of theory–I wanted to do something but instead of sitting down and committing to reading, all the items went into the cupboard where they stayed for nearly seven months.
I sighed heavily at my daughter’s request but then walked into my office, got the two books and the drawing set out of the cabinet, walked back to my couch, and started to read. Betty Edwards managed to keep my interest and I was all ready to go except then on page 12, there’s suddenly a list of things to buy–a few things beyond my already purchased drawing set. Crap! Another fly in the ointment. Another delay.
Instead of getting stuck, though, I immediately got on Amazon Prime and bought the items I didn’t have on hand. I only wish that I had the complete list right after the dedication page. Why wait until you’re chomping at the bit to get going with learning a new skill, and then throw in a list of items to buy that most people don’t have lying around (3M Scotch Low Tack Artist Tape, graphite stick, #4 drawing pencil, for example). So, Betty, if you’re listening, please update your next version of the book with a list at the beginning of everything one needs to buy.
Two of the items I’m missing are supposed to arrive by tonight, two other items will be here the 12th and the 13th, and I will have to go out and buy a couple of the required Sharpies. In hindsight I should have just gone to my local Michael’s or Aaron Brothers. I’m sure they would have everything I need and I could have started yesterday instead of waiting until Saturday.
What I cannot wait for are the before and after photos I will share with you. You will get to see just how inept I am as an artist. I feel like that sloth on the Geico commercial. If the other students’ afters shown in the book are anything I can expect, I will be very excited and I may even make a career out of it. Yes, I’m that excited. I have spent a couple hundred hours in various art galleries over the years, fawning, gasping, admiring, and wishing I could draw/paint like the masters. It’s one talent that I am truly jealous of and wish I possessed. Just to be clear, I’m not saying I have any expectation of being anything like Andrew Wyeth or Jackson Pollock but I’m hoping to be able to create something that looks how it’s supposed to–a flower where the viewer can tell it’s a purple coneflower or an echevaria agavoides. Or recreate my daughters’ faces on canvas. So many people have hobbies and I’d love to have one, too.
Stay tuned for the before and after pictures I will draw. I’m definitely looking forward to the after! If you’d like to join me, buy the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain on Amazon. You can buy everything you will need to accompany the book in Betty’s store, and I suggest you buy it at the same time. Also, if you’d rather learn how to draw through watching videos online, you can do that here. Betty also has workshops, although they’re a bit pricey–I’m sure they’re worth it but I’ll stick to my book for now.
How about you? Would you like to learn how to draw? Let me know in the comments below.