Friday, September 19, 2014

Classes are Rolling Along

Wow. I’m back in school. I love it. I realize I bring a different dimension to study than I did as a college-age student. The classes have an interesting mix of students. Most of them have taken these courses and instructors previously and many tend to do their own thing. I simply intend to follow the promptings on the instructors because (a.) I don’t know better and (b.) they do.

In the first class, we are spending time with live models. It is fascinating to draw in this way because of the rare gift of stillness for an agreed upon period of time. The drawing feels authentic because a person is standing before us. I’m amazed at what others see as they draw and at the techniques they use.

Our primary exercise was a blind contour drawing, which is examining an object so fully that we do not even look at what we are drawing. The idea is to move the hand/pencil when our eyes move. Most of the time we hasten through this process very quickly. During my time with the models, I used this approach for twenty-five minutes. I began to understand the process with my body as I moved my eyes slowly to soak in the details of the image. What made it work was using my yoga prayer breath to slow me down and keep me focused.

During the next class, we painted from still life. Only two other students and I followed the instructors, which confused me a bit, but it helped me understand what the professor wanted. Most people went to class to paint their own projects while the instructions were to paint from observation. This means that the project must be complete in one sitting, which I did not understand until the end of class. I’m getting used to a whole new vocabulary.

We painted apples in the watercolor class. It was fun because there was no pressure, nothing to learn intellectually. It was just a chance to get together in a studio and paint with others who are learning techniques just like me.  

I set up my easel. It was like a Do-It-Yourself project from IKEA. It feels good to have a proper workspace for my activities.

Other notes:

I went apple picking in Stow the other day. It is so nice to be in nature and to pick from the bounty.

As I was driving down the road, three cars passed me. Each of the women drivers was texting and their heads were not looking at the road. What are we doing?

When I was taking the subway, I notice a service dog sitting in the middle of the aisle next to a blind man who spent his entire time texting.

I keep meeting extraordinarily kind people. I like that. I've always liked the word admire (ad- to mire- to look). I look to people whose traits I want to acquire as part of my personality.

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