After years of saying "I can't draw," I decided to sign up for a drawing class at the Southwest School of Art. Actually I wanted to sign up for a painting class to learn more about color - but they sensibly recommended everyone start with a basic drawing class. Walk before you run.
I'm so glad I did! Making decent progress already, and it stretches my brain in an entirely new way. Lots of what I'm learning applies also to writing, which I find fascinating. It's easier to figure out when my mind is in the way of the creative flow when drawing, for me, but it's the same "editor" I'm familiar with as a writer.
At the top is my first exercise, executed in pencil - I foolishly tried to render "easter island heads" from memory. I got all wadded up with perspective, shadow, vanishing points and whatnot.
But my efforts got pretty rapidly better, under a good teacher (internationally known artist Sylvia Benitez) and by watching and imitating the other students.
In the second class, this view of my own leg and running shoe came together better than I'd hoped.
And I did this abstract of Sylvia in charcoal with just a few swoops. Charcoal rocks! I love its softness, smudginess, and the great variety of ways it can color and mark the paper.
I'm getting proportions and perspective pretty badly wrong, but at least I can see that, and I expect that'll get better with practice.