I could also call this post “Curiosity in the Face of Hopelessness”. How can you draw what you cannot see? And how do you maintain curiosity—and good humor—in a situation where you see little hope of improvement? That is all a bit melodramatic, of course, but in our drawing class this evening we worked on value—roughly, variations of light and darkness in art. One thing I have discovered is that I’m very bad at seeing gradations of darkness. Our instructor would come by, look over my shoulder, and say, “The top section of that bowl is much darker than the bottom section. You need to capture that better.” And I would look and look and look and not really see the difference in shade.
One thing, though—there’s no question in my mind that remaining curious was far more effective than, for example, putting myself under great pressure to do better or squinting or any other tense approach. Curiosity helped. At the end, by remaining open and trying different ways of working around the situation, playing with it in a way, I was able to see more than I had at the beginning—and I had fun doing it. No doubt, if I keep at it I’ll see ever more and someday I’ll tell myself, “The top section of that bowl is much darker than the bottom section. I need to capture that better.”