Drawing Upside Down

Recently I came across a drawing exercise I had never tried before. This exercise required that you draw upside down.  That’s right, upside down.

How do you do that?  First, you turn the reference for what you are drawing upside down. Then you try to copy the shapes just as you see them.

I decided to give this exercise a try. I turned my reference picture over and started drawing.  I concentrated on one small section at a time, covering the rest of the picture up so that I wouldn’t be distracted. I wondered how this was ever going to turn out right! But to my great surprise and pleasure when I was finished and turned the drawing over it resembled fairly closely the cat that I was trying to draw.

                The reason for this exercise was to teach me to draw better by seeing better.  I turned the picture upside down so that it wouldn’t look like a cat. That way instead of trying to draw a cat, I would be drawing what I saw. Instead of a cat I was drawing a collection of shapes; an assortment of lines and squiggles that when arranged correctly resembled a cat!

Life is like that.  Sometimes it seems that my life isn’t going anywhere.  It looks as though I am getting nowhere and I wonder how things will ever turn out right.  But that’s just the way I see it.  There is nothing wrong with my life, only the way that I am looking at it. I can’t see the whole the picture.

But God is sovereign.  Not only can He see the whole picture, He is also the one drawing it! He is directing every line, every shape.  He is making my life into the masterpiece that He has planned it to be! He is using me to declare His glory and power. Even when I can’t see it.

So if the world is looking a little topsy turvey. Remember, that is just the way we see things. God is still in control and He knows what He is doing.  All that we can do is concentrate on the little lines and shapes in front of us. Then trust Him with the rest.

An Attack of Creative Compulsion

It has been like this ever since I was little.  It can come in the shape of drawings, stories, poems, essays, paintings, and structurally unsound constructions of cardboard and duct tape.  Without warning and at any time I might come down with a sudden and acute attack of creativity. It is highly contagious and can last for days.  It can completely derail any prior projects and lead to a messy desk and solitary obsessive behavior for hours. And in some extreme cases the excessive hoarding of toilet paper tubes!  I never know when it will strike, at the store, on Pinterest (this one seems to cause a lot of attacks), in the bathroom, anywhere! I refer to this reaction as my Creative Compulsion.   And no I do not suffer from it….on the contrary I rather enjoy it!

I hope that I am not the only one that suffers from this consuming but very enjoyable Compulsion! As a matter of fact I think there is a spark of the creative in all of us.  Certainly we do not all wish to create the same thing or the same way but I think somehow, somewhere, there is a desire to make, to shape, to build,  to create in everyone.

In a way it is how we bear the image of Our Creator.  Isn’t it wonderful!  He created everything, from the sky, to the dirt, even us!  But He still gave us the ability and the desire to make our own creations!  He didn’t have to do that!  But He did!  Why? Only He knows but I like to think that it is because it gives us pleasure and it gives Him pleasure.

So go ahead! Round up the glitter! Grab a pencil (a teal one)!  Paper? Clay? Canvas? Who knows! There are so many wonderful things waiting to be made! So go out there and make them!