Two months have passed — a full eight weeks — since I attended my last drawing class. The onset of May had different plans for me, and I have adjusted nicely, happily even, to those unforeseen ripples. But I do miss my class — the structure, the collection of like-minded souls gathered in that old carriage house; I miss the keen insights, constant encouragement, and infectious enthusiasm of our instructor. For the past ten or so years, my Monday mornings have been an unusual pleasure.
But I am a forgetful creature, and when my pattern becomes disrupted, I often misplace the pieces. Thus, I have not picked up a pencil for more than a quick sketch in these past two months. I have not sat before some carefully lit and arranged still life and attempted to have my hands and eyes come to agreement on what lies before me. Now, the blue ghost of doubt sits at my shoulder, as I’m sure it must for many who wish to create with their preferred tool, whether that is pencil or pen, brush stroke or lens. Uncertainty gathers, the critic is harsh — surely, the gift has fled, it was luck that it had visited at all.
So it is with some nervousness that I pull out my sketch pad — not to draw, mind you…not yet; but to glance backward, to turn those pages and peek. Half the pad is filled and blooms with color. Yes, there are missteps, and the pad holds a fair amount of incomplete drawings — I am notoriously slow and occasionally delay putting pencil to paper when I find a particular still-life daunting. In spite of this, there are drawings that surprise me — I drew that? I laid those colors over the page and coaxed that image into being? It is a relief to see, a concrete reminder that I must trust. Despite the starts and stops I may encounter — planned or otherwise — I must trust that the pencils will know their place in my hand when I pick them up again.