Learning or relearning to draw can be a difficult thing. One must learn line, shade, mediums, design, placement of subject on the page, choosing a good subject, and most importantly, one must learn (or relearn) to be talented. For me, drawing is a skill ( well art in general) that has flowed from my hands as if I were Harry Potter and it was some magic I possessed. But such as magic with Harry Potter, drawing and art must be practiced and refined to be kept up. When I was 23 taking a drawing course at the U of A that magic still flowed from my veins, it circulated through out my body as blood and what was left behind by my hands was beautiful. Art was relaxing and after 3 full days of work I would spend Wednesday nights easily learning and relearning drawing techniques.
Flash forward 4 years later. I have suffered from a psychotic episode 4 years earlier that has effected the right side of my brain because I became too Depressed. I have slowly recovered my artistic skills starting with a pepper I painted when I first started to recover, followed by an attempt to paint some sunflowers in between; then a year ago, my drawing really began to improve drawing interior design textures for a class spent mostly drafting. My first real art class though since 4 years ago has been an option for my Interior Design Certification called Architectural Drawing.
And truly, from that class I have restarted the magic, from some awful sketches to some drawings that have actually been quite decent. And the girl who got the top Art 20 and 30 awards in high school has begun to return. It is true what they say practice, practice, practice. But can I guarantee that I will keep up the practice drawing after this class is done? I am not sure; the hectic pace of homework including three large drawings a week plus sketch book work is a bit of a gruelling routine when one has other work that must also be done. And art, it is not the relaxing hobby it used to be; rather, I must squeeze my drawing into the little time my mind has to concentrate and put to paper what I imagine, or what is in front of me. I still love art but I have found now that it comes with exhaustion and often, frustration. What used to flow so silkily from my hands sometimes becomes lost in translation. Three dementional prospective drawing is giving me that issue; capturing the birds eye view or worms eye view has been hard. I am waiting for that moment of ‘a ha,’ that moment of understanding, but it has yet to come.
But I have been quite happy with a lot of my other drawings. I have been ecstatic to draw with charcoal again, to feel its black smoothness coat my fingers and palms as I work. I have also loved to work with just the charcoal pencils, which give me more control when I draw and are excellent for adding line to the shading and blending common in a charcoal drawing. I like to work quite dark and I am learning to leave the paper as the lightest places on the drawing, rather than just erasing or adding in chalk or conte in white. But those methods still have merit. I also enjoy these markers that come in various colors made with Indian ink, which in itself is an interesting drawing tool. But these markers create soft wet colors that blend so brightly together, the ends as little paint brushes; beats Crayola markers any day!
For our final project in this class we need to come up with two things: an architectural statement of belief and a fully rendered, multi – medium drawing of some type of architectural building. Thank goodness, I can do two point perspective! I think I will research some classical architecture from my old Jansen’s Art History text book and draw one of those type of buildings. Or perhaps, some early Byzantine or early Gothic buildings; I do not know yet. What I do know is that I need something beautiful and artistic, something that will stand out in my own style. I can get more than a B in this course, which has been par for the course for Interior Design, so the rendering must be excellent.
What is of more interest to me currently is my architectural statement. What is the purpose of the architecture and why is it so important? Does architecture serve it’s program, its functionality? Is it aesthetic enough, how’s its structure, is it safe? Who is architecture for, for the architect, for the builder, for the people who live and use it? What style of architecture is right – should it be ornate or should it be simple or organic? All these things are important when I consider my statement.
So I start with simple statements: Architecture is the creation of buildings for people to shelter ( live), store, work, shop, entertain, eat, play, and appreciate culture in. Buildings of architecture can be ornate, plane and functionally built, or organic. I believe that architectural buildings should have a program and functionality for people ( and their animals)that is fulfilled in its design but that that design should have some sort of aesthetic quality to it for the architect and/or the people going to be using the building inside and out. There is no use in designing something simply for functionality ( although it is extremely important) as when nature was designed it was not created simply to be functional but to be aesthetically pleasing as part of it’s purpose; so should architecture be. I also think that it is important to be environmentally responsible when we are building and deconstructing are buildings. That we should focus on reuse, recycling, and using strong but environmentally friendly materials to build our architecture and dispose of it.
There is the beginning of my statement. A first draft if you will. As for me I will continue to practice my drawing skills, to finish the unfinished drawings for my portfolio, and to work on my final project. Maybe you can think of what architecture is to you, what design is to you, and how you can be an artist of your own in this world we live in.