Sunday before last we started a class in botanical drawing, which promises to be a delight.  I have done drawing on and off since I was very young, but never pursued it with any discipline.  I have never pursued nature with much discipline, either, rambling and enjoying distant views and small details equally.  I have tried to capture violets, moss, lichen, bark patterns, and other detail with a camera.  When I saw this class offered, I thought that it would let me both capture the beautiful detail I enjoy outdoors, and learn to really see it.

Our teacher, Ann Payne, teaches at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, but lives in Morgantown and is offering this class in the WVU Community Arts program for the first time.

An artist commented on yesterday’s practice post that artists, too, refer to their work as a practice.  The drawing class is very much so.  Our first class and homework was gray scales – filling in one-inch squares with graduated shades of gray, using three different pencils.  Our second class and homework was filling in one-by-six inch squares with graduated shades of gray.  It demands total attention to what appears on the surface, and in some ways really is, a very simple task.

Ann Payne says, to her classes, as in the video, that anyone can learn to do this; it doesn’t take talent, it just takes practice.