I remember my first art lesson quite well. It was in the first grade, in a tiny school where one room combined the first three grades. The desks were wooden and each had a hole in it to hold little jars of ink. I figured that out for myself, by the ink blots on each desk, and I so much wanted some ink to play with. Sadly though, technological development had rendered the wells dry . . . damn ballpoints.
That first lesson was pretty simple. The teacher put up a large colored poster of a heart, so there was lots of red. It was a colored illustration that showed the inside of a heart, as if someone had sliced it open, like you would see in a textbook back in 1962. The lesson was pretty simple, “Here’s some paper, now draw a picture of the heart”.
Despite the lack of ink, me and my pencil had fun with it, and it was really easy . . . after all, the only thing one had to do was copy it. The fun part was seeing the cave inside this heart, and those slides that brought the blood in from several directions. It looked exactly like the snow forts we built in the winter, an igloo-type mini-mountain, but one with many hole-entrances around the dome. You had to enter through one of those holes and then slide down the winding tunnel . . . like a simple labyrinth. Once inside, there were a few hidden chambers, so it we could even play a little hide-and-seek. After building this masterpiece, the drawing of a heart was second nature.
Back To The Future, in a Roundabout Way
There were several more such art lessons over the next few years – I’m sure there was at least three or four. What I really remember well was the self-instruction around grade 5, in the visits to the library on hot summer afternoons. That’s where I met Dali and Da Vinci. Given the small size of the library there should be no surprise that they rested there, side by side.
Those dreamy curves of Dali drew me in big-time, and the colors as well. I don’t think I read more than a few words, probably no more than the titles of the pictures. There was no analysis, no need to figure anything out. It was simply a peaceful, solitary interlude from the heat . . . a break after baseball, and now that I think of it, more importantly, it was an escape from the horrible chore of pulling weeds out of the garden.
Now skip ahead 40 years or so and another art lesson took place. Instead of a teacher though, the call to draw a heart (or whatever) came from some software on a CD. I had no choice but to explore it and the teacher came in the form a manual – I wonder if I will ever read the remaining 75% of it? I still had no ink to get messy with, so I did the best I could on the screen. Eventually, with my ink-jet printer, I finally did find a way to get at least a little mucked up from time to time . . . damned cartridges!
It didn’t take long to have my dreamy Dali fun with all of it, and now when I look at where the art has taken me, in a word it’s all “good”.
That’s about it for now. I wrote this post as kind of an announcement of a major change to this blog. That is in the form of adding a number of my creations on here – see “Limited Edition Prints” in the top menu for more information. Better yet, click and enjoy the tour . . . and please don’t worry about too much analysis . . . best to just listen to the heart.
Finally, here’s a treat for you, something a dear online friend shared with me. It’s what happens when Dali combines motion with emotion, and it too simply feels “good”!