As a Sophmore access to the school’s art program could only be achieved by submitting works that spoke to the use of line, texture, emotion, balance and movement. Then there were the verbal agreements: keep a sketchbook, sketch, sketch and sketch some more; be on time, don’t skip out of class, and I had to agree to not argue with the Art Teacher. Wow.
A petite five-foot height with eyes a perfect Cerulean blue that could shoot a selective choice of sparks or flames or dagger, she was a mix of tough like gessoed canvas and soft like fresh mounds of oil paint. Her hair a blond sparkle like strands of gossamer.
She taught. We learned. and with her hovering and threatening to nag we learned to do and do some more and do in such a way that we could continue to do throughout our lives.
“You must fully engage the brain! Draw something, anything, every day. Practice practicing. Write words, do math. But DO something with pens or brushes or pencils. If we could see the lights of your brains they would look like the pinball machine.”
This was many years before science discovered the lights of the human brain. Or before anyone knew how to make the right and left hemispheres of the brain work together.
But she understood that and more. Maybe all art teachers and students put the brain hemispheres together with little exercises like drawing squiggles then drawing straight lines. Sometimes we had to tap left knee with the right hand while tapping right knee with the left hand. Sometimes there was a class show-off who would tap his head while making circles on his tummy.
Now, a few decades later I continue to draw lines. My hand is sure with a confidence that comes from having done this very thing every day for those few decades. As I take a pencil in hand thoughts become visible on paper.