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Thread: zen frog art

  1. #1
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    Talking zen frog art

    My dad woke me up yesterday and took me outside in the backyard. He told me that he had seen my artwork take a real plateau as of late. He said he really isn't seeing me grow as an artist and there were some specific things that I needed to work on. I had felt that way too and hearing him tell me this, well just verified what I had been feeling. Hearing it from him made me feel reassured because I was certain he'd show me a way out, and that he did.

    I won't go into much detail of the rigorous drawing session that followed. I had never drawn/sketched with my dad, and I thought that my approach was intense previously, but it is nothing compared to his method. I felt like I was out in the middle of an ocean trying to keep up with him by doing the breaststroke while he was speeding by in a yacht.

    He was handing his technique down to me and I felt very honored. There were a few things that he said that I think have spiritual and practical relevance.

    #1.) He must've said "analysis" or "analyze" about a hundred times. That clued me into that I had been missing some detail or some group of details up until that date, which I had. He discouraged my practice of 30 faces a day for a number of reasons, but mostly because I had not yet mastered the details of a face. He said the mastery was to be found in the details, something that has been told to me very many times by several people. "You don't pay attention to details", I'd hear, but I've never had any really clear cut path of how to anticipate what I had missed previously.
    I felt like an outfielder who would always miss the ball hit his way because he never thought to look up. I would always feel like I was told "You missed it!" but never "Look up!". Maybe I had been told that and I just didn't know how to hear it. Either way, my dad showed me how to look up, and also that I had never really looked up in my life, although I thought I had.

    #2.) Analysis takes a great number of details to be of any real use, and well not being able to or not knowing how to see all of the details can limit one's analysis severely. Not being able to see details has limited my analysis, especially of myself, but it was also showing in my artwork. So how to see those elusive details?

    My dad set up this small glass frog candle holder and said "let's draw this". So I did what I thought I should do, I began to trace an outline and draw what I saw... He stopped me and said "No, don't draw the frog, draw what you SEE". I was immediately confused. How was what I saw different from the actual frog?

    Then he proceeded to make me aware of how the soft glass curves danced with the light around it. The reflections in the glass were not stagnant, but moving with the sun; it was becoming nighttime in the frog's world too. The rhythm of the curves as they played with the shaking heat around them became apparent to me. This frog was alive with vitality and tempo and life! I felt like Malidoma Some when he saw the green tree lady.

    That's when I discovered that drawing/art really has nothing to do with drawing at all! (Well it does, sort of...) It has to do with one's ability to see! I had been looking at things, but I HADN'T BEEN SEEING THEM!!!! My head started to hurt because it was a lot to manage mentally all at the same time.

    Then I understood I had been looking at myself like I had been looking at that frog! I was the frog!!! The artist becomes the subject and the subject becomes the artist... Drawing is just a celebration of that unity, as life is a celebration of the unity between one and one's self! By this point my head was really hurting, but it gave me so much insight into the things that I do and why I do them.

    I had been looking at myself but I thought I had been seeing myself! I had been using my eyes without understanding what I was looking at. I have been re-examining myself as of late and the things that are there look different with these different eyes. I still have a lot of uncovering to do, like in the drawing of the frog. Hopefully in the mastering of my father's lesson, I will find life's truest joy, self-knowledge and understanding.

    Jimi Hendrix said that its not the notes that you play, but the what's in between the notes that really counts... My father told me to draw the frog by not drawing the frog and Musashi says to study the invisible.

    I have learned that it's not what we do in our lives, but it is what is behind what we do that makes living worthwhile. I'm starting to see what is behind what I do for the first time.

    Whatta trip...

    Best wishes,

    cuzzo


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  3. #2
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    Well young gent...now that youve got it...impress us with your new work

    and your dad is so right. ANd its very interesting how he teach you...i say you have good luck with such a dad...my dad neve encouraged me to draw...never teached anything...as well as the fuckheads of teachers i had
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilaekae
    "Art is the physical result of your soul battling with your intellect to the death...with a sharp pencil..."
    THE AUSTRIAN SKETCHLORDS
    Baron Carnifex
    Duke Corky

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    thanks... i've been practicing... its weird because the link to my sketchbook is messed up... do they boot your book or something if something is not in order?>>?

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    Wow, what great advice! Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us.

  6. #5
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    I wish I had a parent who was good at drawing and could teach me like that. :/

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