Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vision Therapy and First Drawing Class (Winter 2006)

As I began vision therapy, with my reddish-brown tinted lenses containing prisms, I also wanted to pursue my interests in art. So, I started by taking my first drawing class. Doing so, however, was quite a challenge for me. First the lights in the classrooms were fluorescent, which is usual for most public buildings, making just sitting in the classroom a potentially fatiguing situation. Luckily, however, these florescent lights were covered and less of a problem than the type that are open with metal reflection panels. Secondly, because drawing is about seeing lines, shapes, and shades, I was learning to see in a particular way, which required my eyes to work harder than they might normally throughout a typical day. Finally, the task of producing proportional drawings was extremely challenging, since the task requires moving back and forth between two binocular vision points at different distances. So, I often had to tell my instructor that this task was too much for me.

But, in fact, I would come to find out that the creation of art during vision therapy was encouraged because it complemented the eye exercises being given. And yet, looking between the objects set up in a still life and my paper felt awkward and subtly disturbing, without having a concept of what was happening within my brain and within my impaired binocular vision. In addition, I could not bear to even look at particular type of patterns such as ones that were really busy or striped, without becoming quickly fatigued.

Having chosen to take the drawing class, however, did allow me to see in a new and different way. This way, I do believe, enhanced my ability to work with my binocular vision on a level that I would not have been able to do with the vision exercises alone. Furthermore, I came to understand that drawing is about really seeing what is there. That is, when my drawings were lacking, this was usual because I had missed seeing some aspect of it. The drawings below are from this first drawing class: 

Self Portrait
Grandpa Falleur
Larger Drawing of a Collage
Thomas Moran Copy