My KSU OLLI instructor must have seen a talent that I didn't know I had. Working on my 3rd pencil drawing assignment in class, he came up behind me, looked over my shoulder and suggested "You really should consider drawing that scene in ink" (rather than completing it in pencil). He didn't suggest that to any others. It was only our second day of class. Embarrassed by the attention, I declined, twice. Finally he came around the room again, threw down his pen on my table and told me I could keep the pen if I would simply draw ink lines over top all the existing graphite lines!
Reluctantly I took up his challenge, and was startled by how bold and expressive my drawing suddenly became, especially after erasing all graphite pencil strokes. Without knowing it, I was hooked.
Previously I had no interest in art ... zilch! From that day forward, I find myself looking at the world around me with 2 persistent questions: "what's uniquely attractive about what I'm seeing?", and "how can I capture or recreate that beauty on a piece of paper?"
Sara and I toured Croatia in 2006. I usually avoid gift shops but, as I quickly passed by, a tiny picture caught my eye. Pausing, I was struck by how a few well-planned pen strokes, created an appealing image of calm and orderly perspective. I think I paid 75 cents for it.
Upon returning home, this picture was casually tossed into a drawer where it remained undisturbed except on occasions when looking for something else. Each rediscovery ignited my wonder again about the sensibility of the artist, the image, and the feeling.
I now believe this "wonder" caused me to respond to a 2008 newspaper ad promoting Kennesaw State University’s Continuing Education course titled “drawing in pencil and pen”. Armed with a #2 pencil and eraser, I anxiously eased into my chair among other “Senior Citizens” (I was about to turn 69) to begin my first art lesson since the 5th grade.
The instruction was a simple one-sentence command:
“Draw what you see”.