Sometime in the future, I’ll most certainly need to go back and practice copying the other masters to make up for the fact that I’m doing things digitally, but for this pass, I simply tried my hand at the first artist mentioned: Eugène Delacroix.
As you can tell from the date, I started the exercises in this chapter two weeks ago.
…there is no thought, “I have attained something.” When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners.
— Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Now that I’ve spent over a year relearning how to program, it’s getting to the point that I can spend some spare time applying the system of shuhari to something I never learned: drawing.
The cynical me says if President George W Bush can do it, how hard can it be? But the real reason is I’ve always wanted to draw and admired and encouraged my friends who had the talent, but gave up trying myself around the sixth grade.
Later, I learned that “having talent” for something just means willingness to practice at it and fail, a lot. It was feeling embarrassment over the latter that kept me from seriously attempting to learn drawing.
“Let me tell you why I want to visit the bookstore. The next thing I’m supposed to draw is a green pepper. But because of its shape, I’m having trouble getting started. I thought maybe I could find a different drawing book to distract myself until I can get the energy.”
“So that’s why you have that on our dining room table,” she noted. “You know it’s gotten to the point where the pepper has acne.”
“Heck, it’s much worse than just acne,” I observe.