Inch by inch, row by row,
Gonna make this garden grow.
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground.
Inch by inch, row by row,
Someone bless these seeds I sow.
Someone warm them from below
’Til the rain comes tumbling down…
I not only think of it while I’m in the garden, but sing it to myself when I need encouragement or inspiration. Every new endeavor is like sowing seeds and helping them grow. This song helps me in untested social situations where I hope to make new friends. I sang it to myself as a silent prayer when I started homeschooling Johann. Now I am thinking of it again as I am taking more art classes and getting more serious about becoming a scientific illustrator.
My teacher, Jan Prentice, is wonderful. I hope to be as good as she is someday. I like how she phrases things while she’s giving advice on our work in progress. We are “exploring the shapes”, “finding the highlights”, and “chasing the shadows”. It’s encouraging. We are being given permission to play, discover, and have fun with it like little children at imaginary play.
Sadly, today was the last day of the Fundamentals of Scientific Illustration class. All of our drawings for this class have been exercises to learn and practice techniques. I’ll spare showing you my value scales, but thought I’d share the last four assignments we’ve done. I am in the middle of the last drawing, so I won’t post that one just yet. And then there is the final project with a critique to be done over the next month.
The current program is a set of art classes offered by Connecticut Natural Science Illustrators and the Yale Peabody Museum. There is talk of these classes, along with new ones, being turned into an accredited scientific illustration program as early as this coming fall. Either way, I plan to continue to take what classes are offered until I’ve taken them all, but going through the accredited program would be nice…
Pulling weeds and picking stones,
Man is made from dreams and bones.
Feel the need to grow my own,
’Cause the time is close at hand…
During the classes, I felt out of my element at times, but that’s been good for me. Jan is definitely pushing me forward. She is good at getting me to go just beyond my comfort zone without going too far, so stretching for the new goal isn’t so scary. I was surprised when she said I have a native talent she wants to see me cultivate. That meant a great deal to me. So I am trying to be less of a perfectionist, give myself time to learn, and grow inch by inch, row by row with my art.