Stories from my Sketchbook . . .
This week one of my art homework exercises from SketchBookSkool was to draw toast. Seriously. Toast. But not just any old quick sketch of toast. This was an exercise in slowing down. (The class I am doing at the moment is called ‘Seeing’.) We were to really look at that toast. Take our time. Draw ‘every fissure . . . every nook and cranny . . . every peak and valley’. Mmmmm . . . .
It turned out to be an interesting, and difficult, exercise. The first problem I encountered was that I discovered it was extraordinarily hard to focus on drawing toast when all I really wanted to do was eat it. I don’t think I had noticed before just how mouthwateringly good raisin toast smells. I wasn’t even hungry when I started the drawing, but by the time I was finished (and the toast was cold and hard and horrid) I was ravenous. Sigh.
And then, as I progressed, I found that as I drew more and more ‘nooks and crannies, valleys and peaks’ the drawing started to look less and less like toast and more and more like random scribbles on a page (see right). The teacher’s example of their black and white drawing was entirely recognisable as toast—mine less so. (Although I admit, It looked a little more like toast when I added colour, and a lot more like toast after I added the lettering . . . )
Nevertheless, in spite of the result, I think I am going to try this approach again. I really enjoyed the focus that it demanded—to really looking ‘inside’ what I was drawing. I liked getting lost in the process.
Although perhaps next time I will try drawing something other than food. I found looking up from the drawing and having my gaze drawn relentlessly to the three tiny little black noses stretched up and sniffing along the edge of the table really screwed with my concentration . . .