--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, Emily Reyn  wrote:
> I think I will give this a try...I don't have that particular natural 
> affinity either, but it would be an excellent exercise for my brain in 
> exploring its capacity for communicating different perspectives, if only to 
> myself. 

Exactly, it is a neuronal challenge that makes us younger inside. 

< We haven't all internalized great pitch, however; I think that is skill is 
inherent to how the brain HEARS and differs between people.  I had a good 
friend in band, years ago, who always played flat...she couldn't hear the note. 
We went to go see a Peter, Paul, and Mary concert and she sang every tune with 
them, out of key.  Drove me crazy! Ha. >

Yes you have a point.  I am not sure if some people are the exception or if she 
was just not being directed to pay attention to the right thing.  But I still 
maintain that poor student performance comes back to the teacher.  And of 
course there are exceptions to every rule.  But for most of us we have 
everything we need to play music or draw.  One great line from one of my books 
is that if you have the ability to notice that a picture in hanging crookedly 
on the wall, you have what you need to draw.  As I continue to refine my 
pictures, adjusting a little here and there I really get what they mean. The 
process is simple, but you have to isolate what to pay attention to for it to 
be relevant.  That is where the instructional techniques come in. 

I have taken a photo of Son House and put him in a plastic sleeve that I drew 1 
inch squares on.  Then I made a light pencil line grid on my drawing paper.  
This guide is helping me SEE the simple shapes I need to focus on to draw this 
picture so much better.  It gives me a reference frame to compare the simple 
shapes in each square to.

One of my goals is to fill my walls with my sketches of the bluesmen and women. 
 It is a great modest, yet challenging level to work toward.  Everything I draw 
now has a slight hinkiness to it.  But as I learn to settle down and take time 
to compare what I have drawn with what is in front of me and adjust it, I can 
see that it is possible, if just beyond my reach yet.

A perfect kick my brain's ass challenge for this decade of my life!

> >________________________________
> > From: curtisdeltablues 
> >To: FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com 
> >Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2013 11:27 AM
> >Subject: [FairfieldLife] Re: When I stopped believing my own lie…
> > 
> >
> >  
> >Thanks for responding.  The great thing the Right Side of the Brain book 
> >does is apply techniques to help us see things differently.  For example she 
> >uses a small pane of glass (8X10 photo glass works great) with cross lines 
> >drawn in to help your vision translate 3D images into 2 dimensions on the 
> >plane of the screen.  I guess some people have a natural affinity for this 
> >but I sure don't.
> >
> >I'll bet you have a much more developed artistic eye than you are giving 
> >yourself credit for if you love and notice art.  I like to tell people who 
> >are dubious about my "you can play guitar" spiel that if I am off one half 
> >step on a note they will notice because we have all internalized great pitch 
> >from listening to music.  So the trick is to translate that into our bodies, 
> >more athletic than artistic.
> >
> >For drawing it seems to be a little trickier because some of our distorted 
> >perceptions are actually important survival mechanisms.  So to SEE 
> >perspective clearly enough we may need some counter-intuitive help.  Betty's 
> >book is excellent at this.
> >
> >--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, Emily Reyn  wrote:
> >>
> >> Interesting story.  I am not a visual artist, and in fact, have issues 
> >> with spatial translation.  I cannot draw at all, but have, like you, 
> >> attempted to follow the lines or learn the lines of simple things.  In 
> >> looking at a tree, for example, I can follow the lines, but often the 
> >> dimensions are off when it translates to paper.  I can bring up a 
> >> visual of a fox, but cannot translate the image on paper.  I see this 
> >> as a brain issue; I cannot SEE to translating image on paper.  I could 
> >> never be an architect, but once the drawing is visualized for me, I can 
> >> describe it in space.  I love art however; it communicates so much in 
> >> ways that words do not.  One of my children has a more natural talent 
> >> of "seeing" visually; the other is like me and is reduced to elementary 
> >> drawings replete with stick figures.  My last art class was in 9th 
> >> grade - I found that, for me, I am better at geometric shapes, abstract 
> >> translations at best.  
> >> 
> >> 
> >> 
> >> >________________________________
> >> > From: curtisdeltablues 
> >> >To: FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com 
> >> >Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2013 10:21 AM
> >> >Subject: [FairfieldLife] When I stopped believing my own lie…
> >> > 
> >> >
> >> >  
> >> >I know, a little "Man Bites Dog" headline, huh?  But since you are here 
> >> >anyway…
> >> >
> >> >I was lying to some little kids again.  I mean not lying, lying but 
> >> >tossing some bullshit that all of a sudden I began to smell.  I was in a 
> >> >Title One school (poorest kids in their county) teaching them to write a 
> >> >blues song to help them understand the difference between character 
> >> >traits and feelings, which for a first grader is at the top of their 
> >> >cognitive limits.  (Feelings change in the story, but character traits 
> >> >persist to define how a character will behave in the story. Hopefully 
> >> >character traits can also change through education, or we are all kinda 
> >> >screwed, but you see the simple difference right?) 
> >> >
> >> >I was drawing a picture web of ideas using characters from their story 
> >> >about a fox and a mouse and was drawing a really, really shitty fox.  I 
> >> >mean worse than cave man on cave wall shitty. (No offense to our 
> >> >ancestors meant some of them drew better than I did.)  I told the kids 
> >> >that as a musician I tend to pay more attention to my ears so I practice 
> >> >music but not drawing.  All this is sort of true, but what was a stinking 
> >> >lie was the implication that somehow this preference defined my character 
> >> >trait as a musician guy who can't draw.  It sent me into introspection on 
> >> >my long drive home.
> >> >
> >> >WTF?  Why was I shitty at drawing and was it really based on my sensory 
> >> >preference?  Or was it something that had just been overlooked in my 
> >> >education, cast aside as something adults don't need to know how to do? 
> >> >What other area of knowledge is it acceptable for adults to perform at a 
> >> >first grade level? (Oh sorry that is a two digit number and I don't do 
> >> >math that high!)
> >> >
> >> >As I reflected on my art classes I remember being taught how to use 
> >> >certain mediums, but never having anyone show me how to draw.  It seemed 
> >> >to be accepted that some kids were "talented" (I am beginning to hate 
> >> >that word as a total cop-out in art.) and they could do this magical 
> >> >thing called drawing.  And then there was me, a special Ed artist to this 
> >> >day.  Was this just a limit I needed to accept, or had my educational 
> >> >system failed me?
> >> >
> >> >I needed to know, so I went to the library and took out a big stack of 
> >> >how-to-draw books including one on drawing animal cartoons.  In a few 
> >> >moments I knew I had been selling myself and others a bill of goods about 
> >> >me being able to draw as a limit.  With some simple instructions I could 
> >> >draw a very passible fox for my class the next day, as well as a very 
> >> >cute but simple mouse.  I had just never been shown how to draw one, and 
> >> >some of it was counter-intuitive.  So I still sucked at drawing in 
> >> >general but in the specific I could pull off a fox and a mouse.  And it 
> >> >was still magical how they went from a real picture of these animals to 
> >> >the stylized few lines that defined them, so I had even more questions 
> >> >now.  How did the guy (or doll, I'm still in my Film Noir phase) first 
> >> >discover how to SEE what lines mattered most?
> >> >
> >> >Relevant side discussion:  If you come up to me after my blues show and 
> >> >tell me you like my music, I will thank you and then ask if you play an 
> >> >instrument.  If you tell me you have no musical talent but would love to 
> >> >play guitar I will tell you that anyone can learn to play simple chords 
> >> >on a guitar and have a blast playing most of your favorite music.  My 
> >> >practiced spiel includes the fact that I have taught many people to play 
> >> >guitar who never thought they could, and it is a simple matter of having 
> >> >someone show you where to put your fingers (Youtube) and then putting 
> >> >your fingers on strings for 15 minutes every day till you groove it in. 
> >> >Some go away inspired, some go away dubious, and some just go away.  But 
> >> >some actually do what I suggest and write me glowing thank-you emails.  
> >> >So for music I believe that talent is overrated as far as personal 
> >> >satisfaction is concerned.  We may never have the raw talent of Jimi 
> >> >Hendrix, but he was a legendary
> >>  practicer too, so it is still up in the air concerning this 
> >> Natureâ€"Nurture balance.
> >> >
> >> >But I had never applied my own theory to myself with drawing till now.
> >> >
> >> >Back to the main story:
> >> >
> >> >We have all probably owned this book, I know I did, but never worked 
> >> >through it: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.  I 
> >> >got the latest edition from Amazon and let her guide me.  Within two 
> >> >chapters I was drawing so far above what I thought I could ever do.  I 
> >> >realized that this is a huge gap in education, and an amazing opportunity 
> >> >to understand altered states of brain functioning. (more on that later.) 
> >> >Now don't get me wrong, I am a beginner and am still on the "suck" 
> >> >continuum in my final products. But now I see where I need to go, I see 
> >> >the path before me.  It will take time, but the time spent is so 
> >> >enjoyable I am sorry I didn't discover this before.
> >> >
> >> >In a nutshell, what my girl Betty (Now THAT is a noir-chick name!) turned 
> >> >me on to were some critical concepts about how people SEE in order to 
> >> >draw accurately.  It turns out that most of us draw through the filter of 
> >> >our conceptions because we don't know how to tell our hyper-verbal brain 
> >> >functions to chill the F out while we try to actually SEE something that 
> >> >may not make conceptual sense, but happens to be the way things look from 
> >> >that angle.  If we see a cube we KNOW that each side is equal, but if you 
> >> >draw it that way it will suck because it does not appear that way to our 
> >> >eyes.  When drawing faces we really go into hyper-drive with our 
> >> >conceptions because we are so focused on getting information from 
> >> >people's faces.  (We naturally suck at eye placement because it is 
> >> >actually in the exact middle of our faces and we all think it is about 
> >> >one third down from our hairline, and we all place ears too far forward 
> >> >on a profile as well as lopping off
>  most
> >>  of the top of people's heads in sketches. Our intuition betrays us.)
> >> >
> >> >So brilliant Betty had me draw from a picture that was upside down so I 
> >> >only saw shapes, or draw the spaces and shapes around and inside a chair 
> >> >instead of the thing itself, to let my perception have a chance to shift 
> >> >into less concept laden seeing.  And the results have been a revelation.  
> >> >I actually drew a cool chair this way, as well as the corner of my room. 
> >> >(I even got the counter-intuitive perspective lines right-ish.)
> >> >
> >> >One of the coolest parts of the book was a quote from Van Gogh pissing 
> >> >and moaning about how hard it was to draw as he was teaching himself, and 
> >> >even some examples of what he drew when HE sucked!  (Yes, Van Gogh sucked 
> >> >at first just like some of us do, even though he may have been able to 
> >> >take that ball and run with it much further than I can once he got going.)
> >> >
> >> >Which brings up my current perspective on art.  We have been betrayed by 
> >> >our educational system if we can't bang out chords on guitar or piano to 
> >> >delight ourselves if we want to, or draw an accurate representative 
> >> >likeness of something we see.  Those are the basics, and it is within 
> >> >everyone's ability to master that.  What makes art become ART is what we 
> >> >do with that foundation.  How can we use those chords to move someone's 
> >> >emotions, or represent not just the surface of how a person looks, but 
> >> >how they feel to us on a deeper level in a picture.  (Think Picasso's 
> >> >brilliant insight drawing single eyed women because that is how their 
> >> >eyes fuse into one when we are leaning in for a kiss.) 
> >> >
> >> >So now drawing through my art book lessons (I have a stack) is a part of 
> >> >every day, and I relish the state of non-verbal thinking that it shifts 
> >> >me into.  It is truly a meditative, restorative state that I crave.  It 
> >> >is different from the flow state I am in when I play music, but I can't 
> >> >articulate how yet.  It has some similarities in the time distortion and 
> >> >expansion of awareness feelings, but It is definitely running different 
> >> >brain software.  How it fits into the model of how we alter our minds 
> >> >through meditation is anyone's guess.
> >> >So I hope Marek is lurking, but I will send him this if he isn't.  I 
> >> >would love to hear his take on this since he is so developed both as a 
> >> >visual artist as well as a verbally expressive thinker.
> >> >
> >> >Anyone who is a visual artist or anyone who wants to share experiences 
> >> >about their relationship with art are most welcome.   This has so many 
> >> >profound implications about how we approach education for me, especially 
> >> >concerning non-verbal intelligence,but I have bent your eyes (ears?) long 
> >> >enough.
> >> >
> >> >Thanks for being a place to send such a piece. I'll hang out for any 
> >> >responses. 
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > 
> >> >
> >> >
> >>
> >
> >
> > 
> >
> >

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