Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Why I'm not a world famous artist

Back in November, I came across this picture from Dooce and it reminded me of the time I took an art class in junior high (Mahtomedi Middle School), thinking it would be an easy A.

Now why I thought it would be an easy A, I'm not sure, because, while, yes, I am incredibly creative and imaginative, I have absolutely no artistic ability whatsoever (Which, actually, isn't quite true because I have happened to turn out some decent scrapbooking pages but yeah, wasn't into scrapbooking in ?th (7th? 8th? 9th? Why can't I remember this stuff? I think it was either 8th or 9th) grade). I cannot even draw a straight line with a ruler so you can just imagine what perspective was going to do to me.

My teacher was a nice enough woman, I guess, but she scared the crap out of me. She always looked so disappointed whenever she would look at what I had drawn or painted or attempted to carve.

Here - I give you examples of my failures.

Perspective - Appearance of distant objects to observer: the appearance of objects to an observer allowing for the effect of their distance from the observer. Graphic arts - Allowance for artistic perspective when drawing: the theory or practice of allowing for artistic perspective when drawing or painting.

Perspective relies on being able to draw a straight line. Perspective relies on some math knowledge. Perspective relies on understanding what the heck perspective really is. Do you think I look at a painting and think "Ooh, hey, great perspective?" Well, actually, sometimes I do because that sumbitch is hard. I had problems drawing boxes. Let alone the street scene she wanted us to do.

Tie-dye - Dye designs using bunched cloth: to dye designs on cloth by tightly tying portions of it with waxed thread so that the dye only affects the exposed areas

Seems reasonably simple, right? In this case, we dripped wax onto a cloth and then dipped the cloth in dye. Not too hard. Unless you are, of course, not you and are, in fact, me. Then you're going to run into problems.

See, I liked the whole dripping of the wax on the cloth (I have candle issues and you can occasionally hear Keem yelling "Dana! Stop playing with the wax!") and kept doing it. And my cloth ended up being this horrendous brown color with some green and yellow splotches here and there. Telling your teacher "Hey, I had fun" does not help increase your grade.

Stamp Carved Out of a Potato - I am sure it had a fancy name and I could find the definition on dictionary.com but I don't remember the fancy name. I did think it was kind of stupid. Maybe it was called wood blocking and I thought it was stupid because we weren't wood blocking, we were potato blocking? Anyway, why do I need to make a stamp out of a potato? Haven't you people heard of Archivers (oh, crap, I invoked the mother ship's name. I may need to make a trip there someday. No, no! I will resist them. My wallet cannot take another probing) where I can get nice stamps made out of wood and rubber? Dude. This is just crazy.

Portraiture - The art or practice of making portraits.

To be honest, I don't remember if we had to make portraits. But if we did, I provide you with an example of my portrait drawing techniques. This is a picture I drew on Matt's hand. Granted, I was drawing upside down, skin is not the best canvas I've ever used and it is a portrait of a skank troll but still, this is about how well I draw. Easy A. What was I thinking?

Skank Troll

And then we came to something that came to me easily. We started working with charcoal. Oddly enough, I took to this, even though I hate to have my hands dirty (although, why do I like playing with mud but hate gardening (does that make sense? No. I didn't think so)). And then we moved on to the best part of the class. Well, at least for me.

Abstract - Having an intellectual and affective artistic content that depends solely on intrinsic form rather than on narrative content or pictorial representation: abstract painting and sculpture.

Is it surprising that I would do well with an abstract charcoal drawing? Probably not. Because it wasn't the drawing that amazed my teacher so much. It was the title. She raved over this and it was quite gratifying. The following piece of artwork is probably all that kept me from flunking my class (I think I got a C).

It is entitled "Alien Spirits Dancing Madly, Shouting Their Triumphs To The Gods."

Alien Spirits

This is a poor imitation of the original. That one mysteriously vanished from the classroom.

Congratulate me. This post is 100% Gil free. Okay. 99.9% Gil free.