In Mindset, Carol Dweck includes a page containing eight portraits arranged in pairs. The left hand drawing in each of the pairs looks as if it’s been completed by a child, the right hand looks to be drawn by adults with reasonable art skills including proportioned features, and light and shadow.
It turns out, though, that these portraits have been drawn by four people who have taken a five day art course. The person teaching the course makes the point that they haven’t learned drawing skills but seeing skills – everyone can draw but we can’t all see. When we can see more we can draw more, and when we can see more we can do more than we think.
If I tell you this, do you think there’s a chance you could improve your drawing?
I’m unable to reproduce the images here but Dweck’s book is worth getting hold of as it’s about fixed and growth mindsets which we have mentioned in the narrative for Doodle 5. Fixed is just another way of saying stuck.
To get unstuck there’s no better place to begin than by becoming more observant. Slowness is a way of increasing our sensory encounters with everything around us. Noticing more leads to more curiosity. When we become curious we have something to find out more about
As I was preparing to doodle for Slow Journeys, I had the opportunity to wander around Washington D.C. following attending a conference. I wandered slowly through downtown Washington looking for what took my eye, taking pictures on my phone for later, allowing phrases to come for doodles, and talking to people I met along the way. Many of the slow Journeys doodles incorporate shapes that I snapped in those two days, including this one.
SOMETHING TO DO: Choose one of your favourite places to be and sit there awhile. First of all observe the things that make this your special place. Then notice the things in-between these things, which may be colours, shapes, people, movement, and such.