On Sleeves and Stitching
Fridays Are For Poetry

A 3-Point Pact

A couple of years ago, I started taking colored pencil drawing classes.  (We have a great art school program here in Kalamazoo - for adults and kids.  It's a year-round program with a huge variety of class offerings.  I'm so grateful.)  I've learned a lot over the years, and I've created some drawings I'm really proud of -- and some real duds, too.  

I like picking out challenging projects for myself in my classes -- because I'm there to learn and develop my skills.  Last fall, I decided I wanted to try to draw something shiny.  Something with a lot of metal in it.  (Because there is a colored pencil technique called "burnishing" that makes wax-based colored pencil drawings "shine" like metal.)

So I decided I'd draw Tom's car.

And it has been the bane of my drawing-life ever since.


Because it is hard.  And my drawing is big.  And I'm not actually all that fond of drawing cars.  And it is taking me so very long.  And I have wanted to throw it in the trash and just be done with it many, many times along the way.

But then, something interesting happened.

My instructor (who is also a friend) asked me to teach her how to knit.

So I did.

And she is determined to make (as her first project) Jared Flood's striped scarf in two contrasting colors of Noro Silk Garden.

Although she caught on to knitting immediately (she had tried it once or twice in the past, so wasn't completely new to to the task), she struggled a bit.  Because it is hard.  And she can't fix her mistakes.  And she wasn't completely sold on the colors she chose.  And it is taking her so very long.  And she has wanted to throw it in the trash and just be done with it many, many times along the way.

Sound familiar? 

Over a glass of wine, we laughed at ourselves . . . old dogs learning new tricks.  And we made this 3-point pact with each other:

  1. We will allow ourselves time and space to learn and improve.
  2. We will ask each other for help without apology.
  3. We will throw perfection out the window (instead of our projects).

I'm hoping that I'll be able to finish my car drawing before the end of my next "semester" of colored pencil drawing class.  And she is hoping to finish her scarf in time to wear next winter.

I'll keep you posted!


To read more Three on Thursday posts, be sure to hop on over to Carole's!



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This is just wonderful! A post of great reminders!! And, yes... learning something new is so hard, and yes... exhausting, and even overwhelming. But, I love your plan to help each other over the humps of learning. I think you just doubled your chances of success! XOXO


This mutual learning and teaching is great! We could all use these reminders when we're struggling to learn something new, and continuing to learn new things is so important!


Those are three excellent points! how wonderful that you have a partner-in-learning ... that's a good lesson, too. (and I think the mini cooper looks pretty good already ;-)


Your car looks good to me too! Burnishing sounds like a really neat technique. Love that you have a friend to teach knitting and that the two of you will encourage each other. Your 3-point pact is wonderful.


Well, that's just wonderful!!


I'm envious of your arts programs! Learning something new while sharing with a friend is always more fun. You will both make great progress as you work together. Your car looks mighty good to me!


Your car looks pretty fantastic to me too! And lucky you to have this great arrangement. Here's to wine and friends together. xo


You & your friend have made three very good points that we all should remember...thanks for sharing! I would love to take a colored pencil class, but not are offered in this area. Before I moved here (in 2006) I took classes in drawing , pen & ink, and watercolor that were offered by our local school district. I haven't done much art work since then and I'd really like to get back at it. I think your car looks great!


Sounds just right, old dogs with new tricks and 3 direct points to ease the frustration.
Sometimes though I do know when I have overreached or wished too much in the present time, such as - I know in my next life I will be an opera singer! And even though I wish I could draw and paint, I think I will save that for the next life too.


It's great when we can connect with someone and see our struggle in a new light. Kudos to you and your friend for each recognizing that learning something new is hard! But, I think that drawing is pretty bomb.


"We will throw perfection out the window (instead of our projects)." I love that!


Wishin' I lived close enough to partake in your lessons on knitting and drawing! As Mary said: that Mini Cooper's looking right good! Carry on!


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