In "high school," Charlotte Mason's students read The Fesole Club Papers by W.G. Collingswood.
Collingswood wrote "[T]here are two reasons why drawing is still worth learning."
His first reason was that "photography is inadequate... Moreover, it commonly happens that we want to
note things in places and upon occasions when we can't be expected to
carry a camera; but a note-book, and even a miniature colour-box, will
never be much of a burden in anybody's pocket."
Now, because of cell phones, we are expected to carry cameras everywhere.
But Collingswood's second reason is the only reason we need:
"The photographer, as such, is not a qualified observer. The habit of
sketching makes one sensitive to impressions, sharpens the eye and the
memory in a wonderful way. Of course, if a sketcher aim at being an
artist pure and simple, and look only for "effects" which will work up
into pictures, then he sees only "effects." But if he be interested in
any branch of science, his sketching habit keeps him on the lookout;
and the necessity for choosing the leading lines trains him to seize
them in any case, much more when he is in the act of drawing."
Collingswood writes that we need "the habit
of looking, and the power of seeing... [M]ost people are half blind."
We rush from one place to the next, not seeing the scenery. We see the sun set, the act of the sun setting, but we don't "notice the iridescence
before the sun went down," or the shapes of the clouds and "their
mysterious consent of movement," or "[t]he strange
obscurity of olive sky behind certain brightest primrose-golden flakes
The person who does not draw sees the sun go down and says it's beautiful, but is "like a deaf man at an opera."
Looks like I need to put away my phone and pick up a pencil...