I've had diplopia, or double vision, all of my life. It's there whether I'm wearing glasses, contacts, or nothing at all. My childhood optometrist said it's because of the extreme difference in vision between my 2 eyes - that my brain can't converge the 2 images because one eye sees so much better than the other. I'm told surgery can't correct it since I don't have a crossed-eye. During my last couple of years of college, I started doing artwork that reflected the double vision. This blog is a brief summary of those 2 years.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Drawing, Drawing, Drawing

Originally written December 2007. The "Feet drawing" referenced was a realistic drawing of feet with a toetag that I had drawn the year before.
I saw my feet drawing from foundations today for the first time since Spring. It's a good drawing, nice rendering, fairly clear message. It's not Hannah's rendering by far, but I'm proud of it. But it's so different from what I'm doing for drawing class this semester. Looking at the feet drawing, it's obvious time and hard work went into the piece. It looks like a piece of "art." How will this semester's pieces be perceived? There are no clear marks that represent the many seconds, minutes, and hours of time. I know I spent just as much hard work and time on my new pieces, but they remind me a little of pieces non-artsy people see when they say "I could do that. How is that art?" It's art because of the process (which has always been my favorite part) and because of the reality behind it. I got bored with rendering the feet. It was one short pencil line after another that seemed to go on and on and on. My process this semester took me through so many ups and downs, questions and revelations, experiments and results. I rendered the feet realistically mostly to see if I could. Mission accomplished.I'm not exactly sure why I decided to draw my double vision this semester. More reasons have appeared as I've draw, but I started out simply with "I want to." Frankly, I didn't want to. It was a daunting task, an emotional rollercoaster. Then the reason became "I have to." I can't explain this one, except that deep down I knew I had to do it. I brainstormed other options to draw, but this was the one I kept coming back to. It was just one of those ideas that had to be gotten out so I could move on to something else. Another reason appeared that was "This is unique." Paul Gauguin said "Art is either plagiarism or revolution." I wasn't striving to be revolutionary, but I believe all of us want to create art that is unique...that says something about us, about the world, about life as we know it. Plagiarism is rarely the goal, though it often seems to be the result. With so much art created in the past and present, it seems like almost everything has been done. Almost any piece can be looked at and described as "that reminds me of so and so's work." I researched abstract art to see where I fit, and yes, my work is comparable in style to other artists. But I found none with the uniqueness of being double. I know I'm not the only person with diplopia, but I am at least in the minority. My fiance asked me if I saw my double vision as a blessing or a curse. Knowing I have a slight advantage on the uniqueness area is a blessing. The most recent reason is because "This is me and my reality." No matter how proud I am of my other drawings, there is still some dissatisfaction in knowing it is just a drawing of what I think I'm suppose to see. The double image drawings say more about me and my world than any art I have created.At this point, I wish I had not procrastinated so long. There are so many other things I want to try drawing. Things look so different on paper than in reality. But I also know if I was not so pushed for time right now, I probably would not be facing my drawings with such vigor. It would be a slower process without vitality. I draw and draw and draw. I tune out the world around me because I know I have to draw. I forget about the people sitting near me or the TV in front of me and don't realize the dogs are barking at something outside. I'm focused, and that's only because of a deadline. I concentrate because I'm stressed and am counting down the hours until Tuesday. I wish I knew how to hold onto this feeling when I'm not stressed.

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