Drawing as Seeing

I’ve been doing some sorting and studio cleaning lately. In the process, I came across two en plein- air sketches that I did in my teens of two plants. ( I was probably 17 at the time. I graduated from the Corcoran in 1986. Feel free to calculate my age. )  I was sitting outside perhaps at the beach and did these two sketches with pen and ink. I don’t know how many kids draw en plein-air these days. Do you?

I also remember the book that I was very influenced by at that time. I was given a copy of the book the Zen of Seeing by Frederick Franck. I loved the book. Beautiful, elegant drawings were integrated with the text which described his philosophy of learning about the world through drawing. You can still order the Zen of Seeing from Amazon but I was also pleased to find a Wikipedia page on him as well as a Frederick Franck website devoted to his work.

I still draw constantly and am reminded of the term ” Lifelong Learning”. ( Here is a link to the Wikipedia page on Lifelong Learning.) We have reason to be concerned about budget short falls in our education system and the impact that will have on the development of the next generation. My hope is that we actively teach kids about how to experience education as a life long practice. It doesn’t matter if they become technologists, accountants or lawyers. If we develop curiosity and creativity and a love of learning , the kids will be alright!