The other day I made the comment that I hate drawing bikes. As soon as I said it, I knew that would have to be the first thing in my nouns exercise. After all, the things we least enjoy drawing are the things that need the most work (generally speaking.) So I propped my bicycle up and sketched it from a couple angles. Clearly I’ve simplified it, but these may be the first bikes I’ve ever drawn with (mostly) accurate bike anatomy. It’s really interesting, though, the things I’m already learning about my own perception in this practice. For example, I already knew that my brain glossed over details to arrive at a “bigger picture.” But as I was drawing this bike I was amazed at the extent to which this happens. Even as I stared right at the bike (the back axle and gears, to be specific) I was seeing it as if through my memory, which has already simplified the bike to basic shapes (two small circles, with a line connecting them, with a seat and handlebars slapped awkwardly on somewhere). I was looking right at it, and drawing not what I saw, but what I (erroneously) remembered, and only by looking long enough did I start to see some of the details. And there are a lot of details! Wires, cables, levers, sprockets, reflectors, bolts, and so forth. This was only day three, so I didn’t force myself to draw all of those details, but it was really interesting to me, to realize that may brain is essentially rejecting details, at any given moment! And that I have to relearn the art of observation, even if it means putting my intuition on hold for a bit. Well, maybe it’s not coming across here as fascinating as I thought it was, but anyway, here’s a drawing of my bike. Meanwhile, if any Gestalt psychologists would like to pick my brain, I’m available.
Friday, October 28th, 2011