Lyricisms: On Being Blind

July 18, 2011
“I have learned that what I have not drawn I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle.” ~Frederick Franck
photo by Julia Wade Photography
I’m half blind

It’s true. I vividly remember being five years old and getting my first pair of glasses. As I came out into the shopping mall I was shocked to discover that the big colorful blobs above each store front were, in fact, words. The details I had missed had meaning. It felt like stepping into a new world.

To this day I still feel as though I need a different language to exist in the world without my glasses. I put on my glasses each morning and finally feel connected and awake. For me, it’s all in the details.

When I’m drawing I see things differently.

These days, I’m finding that I feel half blind without my sketchbook in hand. If I’m not drawing something, figuring out how shapes go together and at what angle to curve each line, I feel as if I’m not really seeing what is there. It feels as if my pen is a pair of glasses, giving me the details I need to understand the extraordinary meaning and beauty in everything around me. The world is a magical place seen through the eyes of the artist I am intent on becoming.

“You are not stuck where you are, unless you decide to be.”  ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

What tool are you lacking?

Where is your blind spot?

What skill or technique, what way of thinking, is keeping you from fully connecting to the world of your own unique vision and art? Often we get frustrated with our perceived lack of ability to create the visions in our minds’ eye. It’s too easy to say “I can’t” or to say “I’m stuck” and to simply give up. Understand that giving up rather than doing the work is YOUR choice.

You can choose to not be stuck!

Stop and take the time to figure out what tool you need to help you move forward then do what it takes to add that tool to your kit. It takes work, time, and effort to master a new skill. Sometimes it takes an instructor to teach us the techniques we lack. Sometimes it takes the encouragement of a supportive friend or mentor to keep us going when we get discouraged. Always, it is a decision to plod along one small step at a time towards your goal. There might be missed footings and detours, but each step will take you closer to your goal of becoming an artist.

You can do it. I know you can!

This essay is from my most recent newsletter, Lyricisms. If you know someone else who might enjoy this please feel free to hit that little button up on the top right and share this via FaceBook, email, or Twitter. I’d appreciate it! If you would like to subscribe to the Lyricisms newsletter- you can do that here.

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  • Reply
    July 18, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    What a great article. So very thought-provoking – I have never taken lessons and I think that it might be the next step on my journey.

    BTW, I love your sketch-a-day entries. I have tried to comment on some of my favorite drawings, but I can't seem to get to a "comment" block. Don't know if it's my computer (or the operator :))

    It's such an inspiration to know that artists that I admire still have to work at their craft – and it never is a "gimme."

    All the best- Chris

  • Reply
    Sally Westcott
    July 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Oh Lyric! I understand exactly what you are saying! I am blind too! I was 4 and when they put those glasses on my nose I saw the world that was there. That day I discovered that leaves grewo n trees! I thought they were only on the ground! My Mum wanted me to take them off when I went to bed and I said "NO!" – (I remember doing it) – the reason – I wanted to see my dreams and that is what I told my Mum. I slept with my glasses on until I was 15.

    Detail is the most important thing in my life and I think it could be because I hate the blurrrr!

    (Mind you, one day I will draw the way I see street light without my glasses on – it is a map of the blood vessels on my retina! I will do that one day soon – my challenge to me after I get back from Houston.


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