Apr 24, 2016 Filed in: Ruminations
I differentiate "artistic" skills from "modeling" skills, although they can be similar in many respects.
In my mind, you can learn modeling skills. Show someone how to ballast a section of track, and they can pretty much get the hang of it after a bit of practice.
Artistic skills, the ability to envision a scene and then create it, is an entirely different situation. I don't have that skill, I can look at a blank area on the layout and know what I want to do with it, but there is a disconnect between my vision and my execution of that vision. I get stuck in the analysis of making it happen - how tall is that tree, I should measure the length of that building, etc. Others with the artistic skill can just dive in and make it happen. It's often been called "analysis paralysis", and that may be part of it. But I just don't have the "knack" when it comes to the artistic aspect of our hobby.
I am grateful to have train friends that DO have that artistic skill. And I am in awe of their talents. They come over and take a look at the situation and accomplish more in one evening than I can in a week of evenings! Afterward, as I am alone and admiring their work, I say to myself "Hey, I could do that!", but then reality creeps in and I realize that "No, I couldn't". I could copy somebody else's work, but it's the original concept that contains the artistry. Anybody can make a copy of a work of art, but it took a true artist create the first one.