Inspiring First Class

An interesting thing happened this morning; someone I don’t know asked me if I was the Giles from the Giles Daily Sketch blog. Getting an answer in the affirmative, which at that time in the morning consisted of a grunt and nod, they preceded to ask why I hadn’t posted in a week. Receiving a muttered “scanner issues” and “time” response, they decided I needed a bit of encouragement – they were right – and let me know that my blog and I were an inspiration to them. I must say, I was taken aback by this, I’ve never thought of myself as an inspirational person. I have friends with the talent (Rosetta for instance), but I wouldn’t consider myself that way. I am way too cynical and have a natural penchant for finding the Camusian absurdity in life. That being said, I appreciated the compliment.

Anyway, I had one of those experiences last night where I wanted to be inspirational, but could only see the absurdity during and after the event. I am speaking about my first teaching experience at the College of Southern Maryland. Teaching at this level isn’t particularly new to me, but there is a bit of a difference between teaching Native American Religion or the History of Christianity and Drawing. There’s a certain inspirational element needed in a beginning drawing class, most of the students come in with a desire to learn how to draw and no confidence or they come in thinking they know how to draw and aren’t going to learn much. Two different types of inspiration are needed.

I’m not sure I succeeded in either last night – the oddness of talking about drawing when I have always considered drawing a kinetic activity had me in two places at once. I wanted them to have the experience of doing what we were talking about as we talked about it, but lacked the time. Drawing, in fact I’d argue most visual art, is a full-body activity. It is the empathic connection with your subject and materials and how your body moves in response that creates art. Just looking or imagining doesn’t create, it is translating of observation and imagination into the physical act of creation that completes the circle.

Eric in a Word: coomb
Book of the Day: Detection by Gaslight - Douglas G. Greene, ed.
Song of the Day: Run for the Hills - Iron Maiden
Religious Figure of the Day: Lemminkainen
Sketch Medium: charcoal wash, coffee, green tea, on scrap paper

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