Art and Learning to Walk Again

After dealing with foot pain for years, and now knee pain, I’m starting over by buying new shoes and learning to walk again the right way.

My friend Jeff told me about how Tiger Woods at the top of his game decided to overhaul his swing. After a season of playing terrible Tiger came back the following season to dominate golf even more than he had before.

But first he had to be willing to fail.

Art is much the same. We can’t go through this wonderful game doing the same thing over and over again just because we are comfortable and sure this method will make the money, painting, drawing or whatever.

Only when we take chances, when we push outside our comfort zone can we progress further than we’ve ever had before.

I’ve been walking a certain way for 45 years and now I’m making a change. I’m overhauling the way I walk because I’m certain it will strengthen my feet and legs as well as lessen the impact on my joints. At the moment though, it’s awkward and honestly a little weird. But like Bob Rotella said. “If you want to be exceptional, you need to be an exception to the rule.”

I’m looking deeply into one of the most habitual, repetitive actions I do daily and looking for improvements. It’s a habit that we all have and mostly ignore, we just do it. But it’s these hidden habits that have long faded into the background of our day where gems of improvement can happen.

This has prompted me to think about my art habits in the same way. What do I always do, without thinking, that I can shine a flashlight on and bring some awareness to?

It’s time to have a purpose for everything and not just do it because. “It’s just something I do” and begin learning to walk again, but better!

Captain Jack Sparrow in charcoal

I had a wonderful session drawing Jack Sparrow this morning. I was in the zone and loving every minute of it. I just need a bit more time on this drawing to call it finished.

Previous Captain Jack Posts

Warm-up and DrawABox exercises

Standing and in graphite is the best way to do this warm-up and challenge myself the most. Also, I try and draw every line while holding the pencil the same as I would hold a brush.

warm-up

The 250 box challenge continues! Lots of trouble with one of these boxes today. I learned that if I don’t make the outside lines converge correctly the rest of the line will fail also.

draw a box exercise

Modeled Drawings in Ink

Drawing the figure with a brush pen is great! I still have to work out a good way to shade areas so it look like a value rather than a bunch of hair strokes. Regardless, every stroke here is focused on the curve of the form and attempting to describe it’s space well.

Daily Composition and Daily Sketch

A really bad drawing of a shoe box, the one my new shoes cam in, and an very nice man I passed during my workout yesterday as he was carrying his groceries home.

daily composition and sketch

What went well?

A wonderful morning of art even though my feet and legs are a bit sore from working new muscles in learning to walk again correctly.

What needs work?

I may take a day this week and spend more time on the draw a box exercises and try to get perfect boxes more consistently. I find this exercise is helping tremendously with me being able to visualize space.

What did I learn?

The brush pen is awesome! Walking and golf are much the same as art and learning any craft. And looking deeply at all my habits and changing them will change my life for the better.

2 Comments

  1. And just as my nature is to relate everything to working with animals, your post reminds me that 1) we always need to keep moving forward (because we are not sea squirts eating our own brains), and 2) saying “it worked with the other animals” doesn’t do it in animal training. Each animal is different and has different motivations, different preferences, and different ways they learn. Doing the same thing doesn’t always work in the animal’s or our favor.
    We must be willing to fail in order to succeed. Have fun learning to walk…

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