Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Life is an Art

It's been an interesting morning. We're getting the smoke from the fire up by Beaver and I'm alergic to smoke. It gives me asmtha. Therefore, I've been getting medical attention and medication. But now, I'm home and glad to be here.

Now to the important stuff. I've been taking an art class in sketching portraits in pencil and pastels. Using only the gray and black colors we bring a portrait to life by using only shadow and highlight. First, you start by squinting your eyes so you can see the shadow in depth. By squinting your eyes, your mind becomes focused on what is important at that moment. It sees only the darkness of the shadow. You take the pencil, or pastel and you sketch what you see - Shadow. There are deep shadows and there are blended and lighter shadows. When all the shadows, light and dark,and inbetween, are is in place, you highlight with white all that is not touched by shadow. At times you blend the white into the shadows for more depth and, at times, you throw that white on all by itself.

It's been a great learning experience, and I decided that writing a novel is much like sketching a portrait. We bring to life a story by squinting our eyes so we can only see shadow, letting the depth of the story be determined by the depth of the shadow, blending and highlighting to bring a story together in a way that gives it life.

We ask ourselves how deep do we want the story to be? Where will we blend to give the story more depth? Where do we add the highlights to bring story to life?

Sketching takes a lot of concentration. Writing takes a lot of concentration. But If, in the end, we can recognize it for all we hoped it to be, and we are pleased.