Exercise #1: Recalling 20-25 details of current setting. What I noticed right away was that I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be focusing on in the environment – was it supposed to be physical items in the environment? Sounds? Things that I could feel? I kind of went with both – though I stayed with the emphasis on physical items. Once I got over that little hump of a decision, then it was easier. :-)
What really existed: Object chosen to stare at for 20 minutes, then turn away, recall and draw it
What existed in my mind's eye 30 minutes later, lol 😂Oui, it sure doesn't look too great! A few things I noticed was sitting there for that length of time, was different little "tricks" I was trying to use to remember the size and placement of objects – for example, I found myself using letters of the alphabet at times to describe either positive or negative spaces of an object, such as the giraffes' back legs, like an "I" and an "L." I also found myself drawing imaginary horizontal and perpendicular lines over the artwork, when I was staring at it, and placing the items in the resulting quadrants in my mind, to help with placement later. Honestly, I was impressed that I even came up with doing that! 😜
Exercise #3, Blind Contour Drawing
Yeah, blind contour is not my favorite art exercise, LOL. But I respect it for what it demonstrates to us while experiencing it.. As a person with "perfectionist" tendencies, it is pure chaos for me, to have a pencil to paper and not be able to look at what I'm drawing – it feels like a complete lack of control – I know while I'm doing it I'm really off the mark and my anxiety spikes accordingly!! I love shells and have collected them my whole life;. As I was attempting to just do an outline of this one for the exercise, I noticed its sheer perfection, of something created in nature, by "simply" water, time, and what ever little creature called it home. 😊
OVERALL REFLECTION: I believe each of these three exercises invoked different parts of the brain, of the use of our senses, of where we were focusing our attention . . . The first exercise to me was very "left-brained," logical, and simply assigning vocabulary to images in my mind's eye. The second exercise was really far and away from words in many respects, from my perspective – it was about getting lost in shapes, colors, areas of dark and light, sharp and soft edges, spatial assessments, etc. Trying to "transcribe" the results of that type of assessment by drawing out everything that was focused upon was certainly using a different skill set (compared to just writing down a series of words, naming items that were recalled within the environment). So, artistic skill from head to hand was required for this second exercise. The last one, the blind contour drawing, felt like a much greater "leap of faith" for me – blindly hoping my hand would not fail me for what it was my eyes were reporting! I can see how all three exercises can be used for artistic development, for what types of things we pay attention to, what elements we focus on, and for what reasons. I haven't done things like this in years, so it was very refreshing for me!