Ten years ago I sat in on a drawing class in Oakland. The topic that day happened to be shading–how to draw the play of light and shadow around an image. After the demonstration I thanked the instructor, and was barely out the door before I burst into tears. Apparently, I had never paid much attention to light and shade before. I was overwhelmed by everything I had missed all those years!
In Zen and the Art of Seeing, Frederick Franck says that until we draw something, we haven’t really seen it: “I have learned that what I have not drawn I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle: the branching of a tree, the structure of a dandelion’s puff…I discover that among the Ten Thousand Things there is no ordinary thing. All that is, is worthy of being seen, of being drawn.”