accuracy matters

Second post! Accomplishment! …well, soon to be accomplished.

Have I mentioned blogging scares me? Intimidates me, I guess I should say. One of the reasons that I’m afraid of blogging is that I feel a sense of ownership for my posts, as I should. It’s more than ownership, though. I feel that I should know my subject matter, have definite insight into my topic, have a clear objective marked by accuracy and precision in my discernment and communication so that I express something deeply and profoundly true, and finally, offer a unique contribution to the world’s wealth of knowledge. I’m not sure I’ll accomplish unique knowledge since Solomon reminds me in my dear Ecclesiastes, “there is nothing new under the sun.” Perhaps I’ll impart a ‘fresh take’ on things.

I am also scared that I’ll make a grammatical error. I’m nervous to make a mistake. You see, blogging is a bit public, and, well, I’m a slight bit shy. This definitely counts as “putting myself out there.”

But I look fear in the face, gather up my courage and blog on.

I want to be broad. I think. Is that the term I’m looking for? I want to be able to look at a situation, decipher it, discern it, and diagnose it accurately without putting it into a box. I want to observe my subject and see it for what it is. I don’t want opinions or judgments or familiarity or rules to distort my subject. I want to take an accurate likeness of it.

In an art class I’m taking we are learning to paint with oils. Our current subject matter is plastic fruit. It’s been difficult to paint the fruit. Gauging the size of the selected fruit sitting before you and illustrating it on an 8.5″ x 11″ canvas is not an easy task to accomplish. Color is an entirely separate matter.

One does not simply paint an apple red. There are many hues in the red observed. Surprisingly, I might add red, orange, blue and brown to achieve a deep maroon. I might even throw in a little yellow-green to lighten it up a bit. But not because I feel like. I add colors to reproduce the apple. I see what all is there. I see the green and the blue and the yellow and the red in the apple. I understand how much of each color is needed for the maroon I’m attempting to emulate. I add them together and find what the red is really made of.

In this class, a single painting takes several days of work. There are layers of color – highlights and shades. And don’t let’s forget to mention the “seating arrangement situation.” Finders keepers doesn’t quite work in this art studio. There are a few women that have taken the class for years – years – who arrive early and claim their spot. If you should arrive earlier than one of these art class regulars, they let you know that they indeed sit in that seat and have for years – the very seat on which you’ve so casually placed your canvas pad and paintbrushes. All to say, from week to week,the newbie is in a different seat. The difficult thing about this is that a slight difference in light can change the whole picture. It may be easy to recall what your little plastic red apple looked like in the sweet yellow light of the lamp a table over when you painted it’s outline last week but today you are seeing it in the irritatingly bright and blue glow of the fluorescent light overhead. In compliance with my art teacher’s instructions, though, I paint what I see and not what I think. Doing this I stand a chance at an accurate representation of that little plastic fruit, which is the goal, whatever light it is in.

Art class teaches me to write and express what I see and not what I think I see or know. That is accuracy. I want to look and listen and feel and experience long enough to put words to my subject and do it justice.

I hope to convey an accurate look at life in my blog. Even if I have a grammatical error or two, maybe I will gain an audience that trusts the author.

Okay, now: Accomplishment!

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