Pencil on Paper

I love to draw. I have been sketching from life since I was very small. I always assumed that everyone loved to as much as me – until art class became a regular part of the curriculum in primary school. I recall my best friend at the time, on a number of occasions, sighing dramatically and proclaiming that she hated art, whenever our year 5 teacher announced that it was time for art class. We were all of 9 or 10 years old at the time, and it was a sentiment I did not understand in the slightest.

In one of my recent procrasta-cleaning episodes, I found a series of pictures I copied out in pencil  from the book: The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay. It’s a delightful children’s book of Australiana published in 1918; which, if memory serves correctly, makes little to no reference to: beer, thongs, snags, BBQs, or vegemite, for which I am eternally grateful. This novel has many beautiful hand drawn pictures by Lindsay of the various characters appearing in the story. It’s a lovely book, so if you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so, especially if you have kids.

I drew these pictures (see below) when I was 11 and 12 years of age, and I was quite impressed with them. In recent years, I feel that through the busy goings on of adult life, the energy and time I devote to art has been reduced, and as such I feel that I have let this facility for drawing go by the wayside.

I went on to study art as part of my HSC because I wanted to have one subject at school that didn’t make me want to tear my hair out in frustration and/or angst. It was a wise move, and I feel it saved my sanity to wander out to my father’s garage and paint for a few hours. What I distinctly remember, however, from around this period, is my decision not to pursue a substantially art based career – as I never wanted to hate the thought of drawing (and let’s be honest, I also really liked eating – the starving artist thing never did appeal). This left me with a large <<career path >> shaped hole that I have been filling with all the other things I found, or came to find, interesting over the next decade or so.

Following high-school and one of the nastiest relationships I have yet experienced, my musings on the drivers behind some of the more malignant aspects of human behaviour led me to study psychology at university. From this point forward my fascination with the machinations of the human brain blossomed and grew alongside my facility for statistical and analytical pursuits.

Although I have never really stopped sketching, much of what I drew was on lined paper with whatever pen or pencil I had to hand at the time. I love drawing from life, and I found that doing so helped ease the boredom in some of the more perfunctory or uninspiring meetings that one inevitably experiences working in white-collar industries. While these sketches served to entertain, I have had little time to develop and evolve my art.

My current state of mental good health and the recent completion of my Master’s degree now affords me more time to pursue my love art as well as my desire to develop my career in science at a less frenetic pace. I thought by blogging about my journey, it would help give some structure to my seemingly disparate interests. As to what proportion of the blog will be dedicated to art, neuroscience, mental health musings, or data-science related pursuits, only time will tell…

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