I read Voscamp quoting Luther: “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen.”
I’m not sure about changing the world, but it certainly changes me to pick up my pen and draw. I doubt this is what Martin Luther meant. Writing is what he meant by picking up your pen. But I know it to be true in drawing. Drawing changes MY world, changes how I view it and thus how I move through it.
Luther not only picked up his pen, but he nailed what he wrote to a door for others to see and that did indeed change the world. I pin my pen-works to this blog and my kids pin theirs to the fridge and we marvel, inhale, gaze…if only for a few seconds in our harried day.
Voscamp also quotes someone more recent…who says: “there are eyes in pencils and in pens.” Yes. So true. Especially so when those pencils and pens draw the life surrounding. The life mundane, yet magical. The life everyday, yet exquisite. Surely there is “seeing” in words…but it is also in drawings.
A scene before you (whether it’s a vase of flowers on your windowsill or the lawn mower parked in the garage) is not truly seen until you try to draw it. You will understand SO much more about the things and people and places in your life if you’ll just draw them. No matter how it “turns out”…just the act of drawing is enough to open your eyes and cause you to see.
I need to remember this every day.
Voscamp herself writes: “Because the picking up of a pen isn’t painful and ink can be cheap medicine. And I just might live.” pg 49.
And though she writes of penning her list of thanks, her list of loves and beauties throughout her day; I know this statement to be true in penning sketches and drawings. It is indeed the cheapest of medicine (especially if you draw with a bic pen!) and yet the most potent. The only pain involved is in letting go of your own judgment of the resulting drawing.
It will change your world…and you.
It will allow you to see in new ways.
It will heal.
And you will live.
Now, let’s pick up our pens…
P.S. Above drawing made with a Schaeffer fountain pen I got as a child in a calligraphy set. I used a waterbrush to pull ink out of the lines. Way fun!