I recently took up an art class in the Limerick College of Further Education.
I always wanted to learn how to draw and paint and decided to treat myself to an art class. I'm taking a beginner class as I did not have a clue on any aspect of drawing or painting. The class is two hours long and we work with a number of different media from pencil to charcoal and oil pastels to watercolour pencils. We have also looked at different shading techniques and how best to find the light and to create shadow.
The reason I'm mentioning this in the blog is that the art class has helped me in two ways: relaxing and training my eye for errors.
Drawing is worlds away from reading and proofing, you focus on one object and draw, that's it, nothing more to it. Hours can go by while you are still and zen-like capturing the object in front of you. Whether you are singing along to music or in silence the mindfulness of drawing is a welcome break from analysing text and searching for typos, which brings me to training my proofreader's eye.
When searching for objects to draw, I found that the little irregularities, the differences, the errors, were what made an object interesting.
A cup is all well and good to draw but a chip in that cup gives it character. It is the same with leaves, a current focus of mine, I look for leaves that are different from the rest, ones that curl up slightly or have a different colour from the rest. Beauty really is in the flaws. So now in nature, as with text, I am looking for the flaws, but with a different purpose, either way I am looking, hunting those flaws to celebrate them in one instance and to erase them in another, and there is a certain poetic beauty in that.