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My People Wear Glasses

A long time ago, I was more active in the SCA than in fandom. No one hassles you about glasses in the SCA, but they're Not Period. So, when I got out my sketchbook (which I did a lot, since autoharps are also not period), I drew people without their glasses.

Through some strange mental alchemy, I stopped noticing people's glasses. It was as if they became invisible to me, unless something called attention to them. That persisted during the years when I rarely picked up a pencil to draw, and why not? It's the person that matters, not their clothes--or their glasses!

Then My Angel fell, nearly bleeding to death, and afterward joked to the nurses that her balance was better if she couldn't see. Sure enough, her eyes had, with age, degenerated to the point where she needed different prescriptions for each eye, and the lack of glasses was a bad idea. Suddenly I needed to retrain my brain to notice if she was wearing her glasses. Or at least try to. It's not as easy as you'd think to undo years of habit.

But I've made some progress.

At Worldcon, I joined my sister, Dragon, and her daughter at one of the Sketching From Life panels. At one point, while we were sketching, Dragon talked about the sketching she'd done while studying at the Art Institute of Chicago. She mentioned doing 30-second poses, and the teachers pressing them to draw at least something for each pose. In that zen-drawing state I was in, I responded that that sounded like fun. Several people nearby stared at me as if I was nuts, and Dragon answered, "What it is is really hard." "Well, yeah." I said. But hard doesn't mean not-fun. If you push enough past your limits and dive into the flow of the process, hard can be a great deal of fun.

Later, I went to the Hugo ceremonies, again with my sketchbook, and I thought, "Well, I said it would be fun, so why don't I just do it--sketch the people presenting and accepting Hugos. So I did--with varying levels of success, of course. Pushing your limits is always like that. And it was, indeed, fun.

I drew a lot of people--and I drew a LOT of glasses. The exercise made me very aware of an unsurprising fact. Most of my people, like me, wear glasses.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 12th, 2014 10:07 am (UTC)
Sound like a great drawing challenge!

My sketch book languishes. These days I am doing production work more than designing anything new. Sigh.
Oct. 14th, 2014 12:42 am (UTC)
I don't know that sketching dozens of people during the Hugos counts as "designing anything new", but it was both fun and good practice.
Oct. 12th, 2014 03:21 pm (UTC)
I did a lot of those 30-second sketches in art school. They can be fun! It was like a crash course in letting go of all preconceptions and just getting marks onto the page.
Oct. 14th, 2014 12:43 am (UTC)
yeah, you have to let go of inhibitions and expectations and just draw.
Oct. 13th, 2014 01:34 am (UTC)
Me too, up until a short time ago when I had the cataract surgery in both. I like glasses on furries in art.
Oct. 14th, 2014 12:44 am (UTC)
Do you draw?
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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