I can't learn to play an instrument. Years of piano lessons didn't take. Same with the guitar. It kills me.
I've always believed that drawing--making art--is a skill that can be learned. It's about repetition, practice, persistence, right? That belief comes from the difficulty I had learning to draw. Making art didn't--and often still doesn't--come easily for me.
As a kid, my desire to bring the vivid images in my head out onto the paper led to much frustration, especially when it seemed many of my peers simply held their pencil to paper and amazing drawings leaked right out. Compared to them, I stunk.
I used to tell my students "It's no different than playing the tuba. You get better when you practice--even the boring stuff, like scales. Your drawings too, will get better when you do a lot of them." Well that's sort of true and sort of not true. Unfortunately, it's all about comparisons.
I've heard "I can't draw" from at least one person in every beginners workshop I've taught, and it has troubled me for a long time.
I finally realized what those words really mean this morning, after a dream I had last night:
I was in some orchestra class, trying to play the clarinet. The teacher told me to "just flex your hands and let the music come out of your instrument." My clarinet suddenly became very heavy, and my hands felt like a couple of lead slabs. The unfortunate sounds that came out of that clarinet were not the beautiful notes played by Chloe Feoranzo https://fandalism.com/chloefeo/b96J or Pete Fountain.
So what then, do those words really mean?