Through Not-So-Rose Colored Glasses

Paige - El Segundo, California
Entered on April 15, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity

Sketching has always felt natural to me. As a child, I littered my house with drawing after drawing of everything I saw—my cats, flowers, chairs—I was in awe of what now seem like common, everyday objects, and constantly studied them, trying to recreate their shape and color. As I grew older and was forced to deal with an awkward adolescence and my parents’ divorce, I found comfort in sketching. I channeled all of my focus away from negative outside forces and towards the freeing motion of my pencil across the page, three entities working together—my hand the quiet mediator between my mind and the paper. The experience was completely my own. I needed no one else, and I let my anger, sadness or insecurity transfer onto the paper in front of me. It was like journal writing… but better.

I believe in sketching. Like a journal, it can serve an emotional escape, but doesn’t have to be that intense—it can be simply a unique recreation of something that has influenced you. The first time I saw my Grandpa draw was on a tablecloth at Macaroni Grill. I looked down, and sketched in neon purple crayon, was a woman smiling up at me. “Who’s that, Grandpa?” I asked. “My kindergarten teacher,” he answered from behind his thick glasses with a goofy smile. “I’ll never forget her face. She was my first crush, you know.” He explained that he used to draw back in the day, but had given it up because he had seven kids and arthritis to deal with. She was a face of the past, the first object of my wrinkly grandpa’s affection, that would have been unseen to me had it not been preserved in his memory and transferred to that tablecloth. It was better than a photograph, because this drawing was not from the perspective of a cold, lifeless camera lens, but through my grandfather’s eyes— it was his interpretation of her, how he remembered her. Sketches give us this ability to capture personal, precious aspects of our lives, and to share them with the rest of the world.

Nowadays, I too often forget about the little girl I once was, who took the time to observe and appreciate everyday things. We all see our world differently—Monet saw lily pads in soft, undefined strokes; Picasso portrayed street musicians in harsh geometric shapes. Although their styles are so different, both artists focused on what they were surrounded by and interpreted it in their own way.

I believe in sketching, because it leads to individual truth. By recreating and interpreting what I see and think on paper, I can better understand the things I draw and what they mean to me. This understanding can provide emotional comfort in a very uncertain and changing world, but more importantly, sharing it with others can allow them to view life in ways they have never dreamed of. To start, all you need is a pencil and paper.

I believe in sketching. Like a journal, it can serve an emotional escape, but doesn’t have to be that intense—it can be simply a unique recreation of something that has made an impression on you. The first time I saw my Grandpa draw was on a tablecloth at Macaroni Grill. I looked down, and sketched in neon purple crayon, was a woman smiling up at me. “Who’s that, Grandpa?” I asked. “My kindergarten teacher,” he answered from behind his thick glasses with a goofy smile. “I’ll never forget her face. She was my first crush, you know.” He explained that he used to draw back in the day, but had given it up because he had seven kids and arthritis to deal with. She was a face of the past, the first object of my wrinkly grandpa’s affection, that would have been unseen to me had it not been preserved in his memory and transferred to that tablecloth. It was better than a photograph, because this drawing was not from the perspective of a cold, lifeless camera lens, but through my grandfather’s eyes— it was his interpretation of her, how he remembered her. Sketches give us this ability to capture personal, precious aspects of our lives, and to share them with the rest of the world.

Nowadays, I too often forget about the little girl I once was, who took the time to observe and appreciate everyday things. Each of us sees our world differently—Monet saw lily pads in soft, undefined strokes; Picasso portrayed street musicians in harsh geometric shapes. Although their styles are so starkly different, both artists have one thing in common— they focused on what they were surrounded by and interpreted it in their own way.

I believe in sketching, because it leads to individual truth. By recreating and interpreting what I see and think on paper, I can better understand the things I draw and what they mean to me. This understanding can provide emotional comfort in a very uncertain and changing world, but more importantly, sharing it with others can allow them to view life in ways they have never dreamed of. To start, all you need is a pencil and paper.