treeslo.jpg I'm following in Laurelines' wake and drawing a tree today. The biggest problem I have when drawing trees is paying attention. There are so many details, so similar to each other, that it's easy for me to slip into conventions of tree-drawing. I have a general picture of how branches branch out from larger branches, and when things get tedious I find myself not even looking up sometimes, just drawing how I "know" branches work. And by doing that, I'm cheating myself out of part of the experience. Because what makes that tree unique and worth attending to is precisely how it differs from the convention in my head. Every time I put down a line that's not really there, I'm not drawing the tree any more. I'm drawing a tree in my head that I've drawn a hundred times before, and what's the point of that? In fact, the moment I start feeling it's tedious is the moment I have stopped really paying attention to what's really there. If I can see how this particular branch is going somewhere entirely new (and every branch does), then it's not tedious at all. It's pretty damn remarkable.