Drawing competition 1

Darrell and I had a drawing competition on the beach at Wharariki. This is how we honeymoon. I think it’s clear who won. I mean, look at those high heels and the detailing on the pumpkin trick-or-treat basket.  D sketched the view of the rocks (and the sketchbook!) from where we were sitting.

One of the most wild hikes.  It was maybe a mile each way?  But we walked through rolling hills filled with sheep until we got to…the beach.  It felt like it came out of nowhere! Which is a good analogy for thinkng about New Zealand geography.  It changes so quickly and so frequently.


Quick! Can you get a shot of me with the sheep?
We made it!

I can’t draw a bagel

Tomorrow I am resuming my “Michelle learns to draw” series from way back when! I’d love for you to join me.  You can find the last post here.

For today, two sketches I drew in between Lessons 8 and 9 where I struggled with parallel lines.

Queenstown, NZ. This sketch represents me staring at a gorgeous scene totally unsure of where to even start.
From where I sat in Queenstown.
I call this “Essence of Hokitika Beach at Sunset”.
“Actual Hokitika Beach at Sunset”.

I can’t draw a bagel: Day 2/30

Lesson 2: Overlapping Spheres

More identifiable objects from the girl who can’t draw a bagel!

I’ve been wanting to learn how to draw for a long while but I’m BRILLIANT at coming up with excuses.  For example “I don’t have time in my schedule for a drawing class,” meanwhile I have plenty of time for a class to learn how to oil paint with knives.  My diagnosis of narcolepsy with cataplexy brought a medical explanation for why I don’t always have control over my muscles, and the profound realization that my reluctance to commit to drawing was my perceived incompetence at controlling my own limbs.

I experience a phenomenon that I call “morning hands”: when I wake up in the morning, I have no fine motor control in either of my hands.  My friends and family have done a great job of pretending this is totally normal, helping me open up something as simple as the quaker oats oatmeal container when I’m fumbling around, without asking any questions.  I also experience “morning hands” whenever I’m having intense emotions, ESPECIALLY laughter.

You know that feeling when you hit your funny bone and it hurts like hell and your arm gets weak and tingly?  Morning hands is kind of like that semi-uncomfortable numb, tingling sensation combined with an overwhelming weakness that I only hear other people describe after they’ve been at a climbing gym for 5 hours.  Except it happens probably 5 out of 7 mornings a week, and then multiple times throughout the day.

So it turns out that my elaborate excuses to avoid drawing stemmed from embarrassment and the subconscious fear that I can’t control my hands and I should be doing “better” than whatever it is I’m doing because all the doctors say I’m the picture of health.  As soon as I learned that “morning hands” were cataplectic episodes and not laziness / impulsiveness / immaturity / whatever-other-reason-people-stupidly-think-that-a-person-would-complain-about-spontaneously-losing-muscle-strength, I was cut free from the unrealistic standards I was holding myself to and – almost immediately – bought a drawing book.

I DO wish that it hadn’t taken “permission” via the diagnosis to draw with weak, shaky hands, but that’s for another day.