Article written by Robert Maniscalco and reprinted in Pointer News around 1998

Detroit, MI, — Many people have said to me over the years, “I envy you. I can’t even draw a straight line.” It breaks my heart to hear that many people have grown into adulthood convinced they cannot draw. Drawing, painting and creativity are not magical gifts for a chosen few. Everyone can learn how to communicate with pictures. The cavemen did it. It’s a natural human instinct. It’s called visual literacy and there’s no real reason for anybody to be without it.

Believe me, there is nothing more wonderful than being “lost” in the non-verbal, serene place called the right brain. How do we get there? Well, there are many methods and techniques. Basically we have to somehow distract the left brain, the part of the mind which chatters endless negativity and worries about results. With an open, accepting mind set, new ways of seeing are possible. Look for a teacher who knows what they’re doing. But more importantly, look for a teacher you can trust not to feed into your fears about not being talented. Talent is a bonus, a bi-product of hard work and persistence. I say concentrate on the doing. Seeing the way an artist sees is one of the most amazing gifts we all possess innately, if we allow for the time and patients to learn the ropes.

Art Classes for all levels and ages are being offered in several locations in the Grosse Pointe area. Call the War Memorial at 881-7511 to get a copy of their class schedule. The Grosse Pointe Woods City Hall offers classes too – 343-2440. Rainy Day Art Supply has a variety of classes for budding artists of every age – call Matt at 881-6305. Learn sculpture with Janice Trimpe in her studio – call 824-9228. The Maniscalco Gallery has classes in portrait painting, life drawing and watercolors for all ages – the number to call is 886-2993. The important thing is to take the first step. Even Van Gogh had to start somewhere. Now is your chance to get back in touch with the artist in you.

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