The dread comes around 1:45PM Tuesdays and Thursdays. The day was Thursday. The scene replays vividly in my mind. I look around the room, most everyone looks a bit on the ‘joyous’ side. Fresh eager faces – sketch pads in hand, pencils at the ready. In comes the teacher. Up goes the drop cloth draped over a bumpy mound in the center of the room. A clutter of bicycles and assorted bike parts meets the eye. We are instructed to draw the shapes of the ‘negative space’. Twenty-five minutes in to the exercise we are forced to ‘take a creative break’ – I took mine in the parking lot, got on my own bike and rode home. Screw Art 100.
I get home, lock up my bike and enter our little shotgun duplex apartment. My boyfriend looks up at me with eyebrows raised as I throw down my sketch pad in utter disgust and exclaim, “I can’t draw that fucking negative space! I hate art class!” There, I said it. Then I cried. Who cries over drawing the spaces between wheel spokes? Me. That’s who.
It was the first class I’d ever dropped in the sum total of 2 semesters of college that I had under my proverbial belt. And let me tell you how it felt. FREAKING’ AWESOME. I wish I had the wherewithal to stand up during any of the 5 torturous art classes I attended with the words of my son at his 5 year-old birthday party, when he was annoyed that we had to break open a pinata instead of the gifts… “THIS IS A PLACE OF PAIN AND MISERY!” Yes, art class is a place of pain and misery for me.
I am no artist. I married one, and almost all of my friends are crazy amazing artists. I’m missing some sort of gene, that’s my best explanation. I cannot translate what my eyes see or what may be in my mind to anything coherent on a piece of paper…and I’m just fine with that. I feel a little weird admitting I never really enjoyed art classes – they were filled with frustration, tragedy, and lies.
- Frustration: not feeling comfortable with the artistic medium we used (from crayons to clay – it all sucked)
- Tragedy: the results of my attempts
- And Lies: from the teacher with his/her hollow words of praise
The Lazy Cowgirls sing it best…
In the days of college I learned something – those who can’t draw negative space take Art History. We were good friends, Art History and I. Lectures, viewing art, and writing… I can do that. I’ll take Art History for $100, Alex.
(Yes, yes – I know many art majors take Art History as part of their requirements….I took it in lieu of Art 100 for my ‘art’ requirement)