Thursday, April 12, 2012

Too Focused on Results

When we are tense, nothing much good happens. When we are too focused on the result, the result actually suffers. When our expectations of ourselves are too close to the surface, they get in the way of fulfilling the very expectations that we know we are capable of and most need to meet.

Last week in life drawing class, we did quick ink wash drawings. Poses were three minutes only. In that short amount of time, we tried to get to the essence of the pose, with as few lines as possible getting movement, mass, and elegance. There wasn't enough time to worry about whether that swipe of ink was the perfect outline.

In this exercise, if you're tense, nothing much good happens. If you're too focused on the result, you'll never have the faith to leap ahead, jump right in, before time is up.

And to make things even better, we worked on scraps of paper, envelopes, pages torn from discarded books. This artwork was starting out as trash, so what worries could we possibly have?

After an hour or so of those ink wash drawings, we settled into a longer pose. I had dropped my expectations and no longer seemed to care about the perfect figure drawing.

And now, finally, I'm starting to get some results.