Unlike many artists, I consider sketchbooks to be indispensable. True, a smartphone will give you a fairly accurate image of something — as accurate as a machine with no brain and only one eye can get. But actually drawing something, no matter how innocuous it may seem, is important because drawing requires that we slow down, stop, relax, and spend some time getting acquainted with some wonders of the world.
The willow was attractive because we usually encounter trees standing straight up, not collapsed into a lake. The shapes were complicated and the reflections needed to be addressed: a complex subject. But if it’s not a challenge, what’s the point?
Sometimes I feel that I really don’t know much about anything unless I can draw it. After spending a couple of hours drawing the willow, I can’t say that I understood it. But it was a wonderful teacher, because it made me pay attention.
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