But then again, the studio was like nothing else in my life, beyond anything in which I've ever felt comfortable or at ease. My carefully composed sketchbooks—the proportions just right, the contrast perfected, the whiteness of the background meticulously preserved—were often marred by the frenzied strokes of my instructor's charcoal as he tried to teach me not to draw accurately, but passionately. But thus was the fundamental gap in my artistic understanding—the difference between the surface realities that I wanted to depict, and the profound though elusive truths of the human condition that art could explore.It was the difference between drawing a man's face and using abstraction to explore his soul.
Pope contends in the poem's opening couplets that bad criticism does greater harm than bad writing: Throughout the poem, Pope refers to ancient writers such as Virgil, Homer, Aristotle, Horace and Longinus.
This is a testament to his belief that the "Imitation of the ancients" is the ultimate standard for taste.
It was the realm of lines that could tell stories, of colors and figures that meant nothing and everything.
Indeed, it was the realm of disorder and messy studios and true art—a place where I could express the world like I saw it, in colors and strokes unrestrained by expectations or rules; a place where I could find refuge in the contours of my own chaotic lines; a place that was neither beautiful nor ideal, but real.
No, it was not so clean and not so white and not so nice. ___ REVIEW Perhaps the most prominent facet of Bobby’s essay is the use of imagery.
It is first utilized to bring the reader into the piece and make the introduction pop, with “Late evening rays [...] casting a gentle glow” and “the soft luminescence of the art studio” becoming “a fluorescent glare.” Immediately, the reader knows what the essay will generally be about: art.
Pope also says, "True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, / As those move easiest who have learned to dance" (362–363), meaning poets are made, not born.
As is usual in Pope's poems, the Essay concludes with a reference to Pope himself.
ESSAY Bold white rafters ran overhead, bearing upon their great iron shoulders the weight of the skylight above. In the middle of the room lay two long tables, each covered with newspaper, upon which were scattered dried-up markers and lost erasers and bins of unwanted colored pencils. The older artists—myself included—sat around these tables with easels, in whatever space the limited confines of the studio allowed.
Late evening rays streamed through these sprawling glass panes, casting a gentle glow upon all that they graced—paper and canvases and paintbrushes alike. The instructor sometimes talked, and we sometimes listened.