“Art, like mortality, consists of drawing the line somewhere”. G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) I would love to be able to say that I have read G. K. Chesterton’s work. I do have a number of his books on my Kindle, but I have yet to read them. Perhaps I think they will be too obtuse and I will be embarassed. There are some writers that intimidate me. There are certainly multiple philosophers who do so. I go into avoidance mindset. Is my need to succeed so deeply entrenched that I at times run from a challenge? Ok, I admit it, yes. I admit this to shame my own self into reading some Chesterton, soon! I have already vowed to re-read Catcher in the Rye. I absolutely detested the book and Holden Caufield when we had to read it in HS. I thought at the time that Salinger only wrote it so he could frequently use the word crap! I am willing to re-read it now to see if perhaps I was too immature to appreciate the book then.
Back to the aforementioned Chesterton quote. It struck a chord with me today for a very specific reason. Until a few years ago I had never taken an art class (as in ‘doing’ the art as opposed to art history classes–I took lots of those). So I took a drawing class at the community college. We used pencils and charcoals. I really enjoyed it. I happened to do quite well at drawing onions, apples, and pumpkins. However, perspective drawing—like boxes, drapes of cloth on boxes, and bananas—-not so much! Beautiful drawings depend on putting the lines in the right place, and the shadows, reflections and shiny spots!
So when I think of drawing, and good art as an analogy for conducting my life–I find that a fascinating point. If you frame your effort or life incorrectly, everything looks and feels wrong, out of perspective, and discordant. Each day we strive to ‘frame it right’. When we would do our drawings, our prof would circulate to each student and make suggestions for improvements. When I did my onions he would say something positive and maybe change a smudge or add some emphasis. But when I did my disastrous efforts at boxes, etc — he would look and just say uhh–huh… then he’d point out how each line was not quite right. He finally said “do you see what i mean?” ” i really can’t”. He’d just tilt his head at me and say “then i can’t help you…” he’d add “when you can see it, then i will be able to help you”….I didn’t feel intimidated or insulted by it…I found it to be hilarious that i was so far beyond help in that area!
Creating artwork and discovering our paths in life both can draw us closer to God and each other. The beauty of nature helps us in this pursuit. Anyway—it is our lifelong mission to discover when and how to draw our lines, our shiny spots, our shadows and reflections…..wishing you charcoals, paper, and a table full of onions and apples! Someday I will photograph an onion drawing and post it! Have I got you wondering if my onion drawings are as terrific as I claim? Remember, to me they are terrific because all I could draw before the class was stick figures, and other pictures that a kindergardener would draw (little-kid level houses, stars, and trees). !