Drawing is my first love. All through school, I drew in my margins when I should have been taking notes or listening to the teacher! On parent-teacher conference nights in 5th grade, my folks returned home with mixed reviews: “Study more; doodle less – but your teacher asked to keep some of your drawings so he could say he knew you before you were famous.” Even in college, my drawing instructor caught me doodling in other classes – and then held me as an example to my drawing classmates as proof that constant practice can hone skills to a master level: my 10,000 hours paid off. This was back when I was a photorealist; I didn’t quite “get” abstraction yet, but I could recognize the good and the bad of it already. I struggled with abstraction for years with infrequent success. Years later, in the midst of trauma, I felt something – perhaps a wall – sort of “break” in my brain…after that, I could work in abstraction as if it had never been difficult. My first recent abstract was a spontaneous drawing in a feverish state of grief. I needed a new perspective; I guess I had matured to a level where I could see more than merely what was put in front of me. I evolved to being able to abstract under the influence of any emotion. I can still do realism and enjoy it, but it doesn’t challenge me, and if I want reality I do have a camera. Now I have a new direction to expand, and it is a blast.
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