Starting with the second topic week, each student is asked to submit a weekly journal. Here are a couple of excerpts from the guidance header for this assignment:
... feel free to journal about any element of creativity, the plant world, the garden, art, and so forth -- anything that is relevant about what you're learning, how you're learning it, what is having an impact on your learning...
Think of a time that a public garden space, personal garden, or other landscape had an impact on your personal well-being.
And here is my submission:
Over the years, I have changed careers by saturating myself in my new subject. I've wondered if that level of intense involvement would ever again happen. Now I know; it is happening. My art library is growing. My interests in art are broadening—exhibits, history, techniques and media... I will soon be able to retire and I'm quite sure that I will be extending myself deeply into art. It is good to once again have direction. I couldn't be more excited about the possibilities.
I hesitated over taking this course until I faced up to the point that it really all came down to my fear of putting myself on the line. Now, I'm actually looking forward to more classes. I may be limited to evenings or online while working but that's okay, as long as I am advancing.
I think I'm really starting to get it with line quality. At this time, pencil is much easier. It could be because I've been working with graphite for about six weeks prior to the class. My only experience with pen and ink has been these exercises. I like the look of ink and figure that with practice I can get a better handle on line control. I plan on doing some supplemental exercises solely in ink towards that end. I'm trying out my various nibs and can see and feel a really big difference in handling.
I can see that the exercises of this course are not simply for the duration but are tools to use regularly for improvement. I wonder if beyond that you could suggest additional methods or books to help me along once the course ends.
You know one thing I really like about drawing is that I can go off into a meditative state where hours pass. I actually went for twelve hours one Saturday. Totally spaced out and loving it. You know what else is cool? I hung a piece I did up in my office at work and each person who looks at it just keeps looking and then gets their nose right into it. It doesn't get any better than that.
Okay. Let me tell you about one of “my spots”. I spent the past year photographing and identifying species around my lake. There's this little point of land on private property that I'm allowed to visit—it juts out a bit into the lake. There are many species of ferns and bushes and even the quite rare Plymouth Gentian. But my favorites are a clump of birch trees. When I visit, I rub their smooth bark and talk to them. I worry about them. Yep, they are my little friends. When the weather turns nice this year, this spot will no doubt be a prime location for outdoor drawing and I'll be doing many birch studies.
Well, that's it for now, except to say how much I am enjoying this course and appreciating your guidance. Thanks for everything!