Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fight for it!

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." Mahatma Gandhi
I took two semesters of Sculpture in college, from the same man who taught a drawing class where I learned a great deal about drawing. He taught realism in drawing, but in sculpture he insisted we develop abstract designs. I have trouble seeing in the abstract, my art style is realism. I can enjoy other people's abstract art, but it is a stretch to do it myself. I know his theory was that abstract takes the subject to its basic design elements; he also hated to see a student attempt a realistic design and fail.

Failed attempts at realism did not make good abstract. The first sculpture I did was abstract and I struggled with it and have never been happy with the results though my professor liked it. In the second semester when we were working up the designs, another student confided in me that to get the design I wanted I had to fight for it; that this teacher would respect my belief in my own design. I have a history of timidity, and avoiding conflict, but I got some gumption in my backbone and insisted on sculpting the design I worked up--politely, of course. :o) He let me do it. As I worked, the sculpture came out even more realistic than my design and it was totally from my imagination. It is one of the most exciting things I ever produced. My professor confessed that he didn't expect it to turn out so well. Even when he let me have my way, he didn't have any faith in it. Somehow I did.

Over the years, I have forgotten that lesson, but I want to remember it today. I have a tendency to let things slide, and go: "Oh well, that is the way it is." While acceptance is a very important principle in my life, as is letting go and letting God, I tend to accept some circumstances that I could change if were I willing to fight for them. God, show me where I need to fight.

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