Art Unboxed,  Thoughts

Art Unboxed Behind The Pencil Cup

This little leopard sketch probably would not have happened had an accident not happened. I had misplaced my small pocket size sketchbook, days later when I found it, I placed it on my desk. The intention was for it to be temporary, it stayed.

Because it did, when I had a few moments, rather than pulling out my bigger sketchbook on my desk, under some other supplies, I grabbed it. The little one is small enough to stand just behind my pencil cup. I sketched this little leopard cub in a tree, and an elephant.

I would encourage you to keep two sketchbooks in a convenient place, for me it’s my desk. One larger one for times when I can do more, and a small one that’s quickly accessed, and just as quickly can be put away. The small one can even be lighter weight paper, as it will probably be mostly pencil and pen.

Those two quick little sketches were all I had time for right then, the needs of the afternoon took over, and that was okay. While I enjoy my sketching, I love my family more. Having this little sketchbook however, allowed me to draw a little without taking time away from my family. I’m not saying this to portray myself as some great family person, everything I learned was from others, who were great teachers.

Yet because of their lessons, I knew enough to know that hobbies are compliments, not the main goal. Because of those who taught me this, I was able to share this lesson with my son. He saw me drawing last night and I put it down to hold him. Nicholas said “But you’re drawing, drawing is important.” Because of my teachers I was able to say, “Drawing is not as important as you are.”

Again, I’m not claiming to be anything noble, but I have had noble teachers. One of which is one of the greatest Ministers and songwriters I know, and when his girls were young, he would put things aside to take care of them. I know my Dad did this all my life, but you don’t always realize this when you’re young. Seeing it as someone older taught me to not miss the time with our son.

I’m sure I’m far from perfect at this, but I do believe it has made my art better. You’re probably wondering how. For me I would say in at least three ways. First, I can enjoy drawing and painting when I can without a sense of guilt from neglecting my loved ones.

Second, Nicholas opens up so many ideas to draw and paint from. I’ve followed suit like many other artists, and painted my children’s collection of random toys together. For me, his random pairing of a super hero, a truck, and a dinosaur are far more interesting than any still life composition I could piece together.

Thirdly, it allows me to pass on to him a hobby, but also a lesson. Interests are important, they make you more rounded, perhaps even more interesting, but they are never more important than the people in our lives. Every drawing, watercolor, or painting, is always more beautiful when viewed beside our loved ones rather than in front of them.

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