“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.”
~ Salvador Dali
My brain is still in a post-virus muddle. Clarity comes in fits and starts, and then fog washes over me and my brain disappears entirely. Trust me, this is not conducive to writing.
So, what should a writer do when they’re in no mind to write?
Draw, of course.
I’m the first to admit that I’m no artist. A couple of years ago, while completing Julia Cameron’s excellent program in her book The Artist’s Way, one of the activities involved drawing for a week instead of writing. I was horrified. Did I mention I’m no artist?
Back then, at the suggestion of a friend, I went to a Dynamic Drawing class at the Byron Bay Scout Hall (having NO idea what I was getting into – what was I thinking???). I thought it would be an ‘art class’ that would teach me ‘art’ principles, and that we would draw fruit bowls and flowers.
Instead I was handed some butchers paper and a stick of charcoal at the door, a wonderful man named Ron Curran began philosophising about art and emotion and freedom from fear, and then a nude model jumped into the middle of the room, and we were asked to draw in timed poses, starting with one minute per drawing. There was no time for me to freak out, no one was judging me, and in the end I actually enjoyed myself immensely after I got over my initial awkwardness at, well, everything…
Doesn’t every athlete benefit from cross-training? Surely this must work for creative types too?
Last night, in celebration of life and its glorious possibilities, a small group of us – who are grateful for not being dead – went along to Dr Sketchy’s monthly Anti-Art School at Byron Bay. With their motto of Dames! Drinks! Drawing! and their adults-only burlesque themes, we figured it would at least be entertaining, and it was low-key enough that I could lounge around in my pale and wan state, as comfortably as if I was at home on the couch.
Dr Sketchy’s involves a wonderful host leading the audience through a series of timed drawing exercises of gorgeous burlesque models, as well as music, performance and some witty repartee. You don’t even have to draw – you can just enjoy the show. And to my relief, there were people of all levels of artistic ability represented. We pulled out our BYO art materials and away we went…
I’m not giving up my day job any time soon, but it was fun to try something different, and to allow myself the pleasure of creating for the fun of it, with no expectation except to express myself, and satisfy my creative curiosity.
By the end of the evening I had evolved from stick figures to the beginning of something a little more shapely. And discovered a new-found appreciation for the skill involved in tassel dancing.
Will drawing, however badly, improve my writing? Who’s to say, but there’s a part of me has a hunch that it will…