if you can sign your name, say art teachers, you have the physical skills you need to draw. however, drawing isn’t just about the ability to make marks on paper. what you learn when you learn to draw is that drawing is an exercise in seeing. if you can stop the brain from building images of what it thinks it sees, and instead draw the shapes and shadows that the eye actually sees, then you are at the beginning of being able to draw. shutting off the thinking part of the brain is harder than it sounds. i’ve come to see STILL as a similar exercise in seeing. this palm fan is a good example. i was on my way into the local hardware store to buy lightbulbs this morning, and the planter by the front door was full of last summer’s plantings, slowly being exposed by the erosion of melting snow. if not for STILL, i would either have ignored the planter completely, or seen an undifferentiated, soggy mess waiting to be composted. instead, my STILL brain picked out an appealingly webby pattern in these soggy palm fronds, as they sat waiting to be pulled, tossed, and forgotten.
dried fan palm