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Figure Drawing

Teaching teens drawing reminded me of how much I love drawing so I finally got my ass to the figure drawing sessions offered at the art league on Sunday mornings. It's become a bit of an obsession. I find myself plotting how to fit the other sessions around town into my schedule and get a bit pissy when I have to miss a day.

Like anything I haven't done in a while it takes a bit to get back in to the groove. I brought lots of options with me, different mediums, different sizes and types of paper. I'm only now starting to feel some direction after a few weeks. I'm also starting to plot on how to get a bigger studio because ultimately I want to be able to hire my own models so I can pick the poses and paint from them, a very old school fantasy.

It reminds me of one of my favorite movies La Belle Noiseuse which must be watched in French with subtitles for the full 228 minutes, not the short version. The short version cuts out most of the studio time in which the artist is just drawing. This movie validated me. Watching the drawing was amazing. It was real and felt familiar. It made me feel like, yes, I could be an artist, that I was, in fact, already an artist. I think this movie solidified what I imagined my artist life should look like, the house, the studio, the pace of life. I've been working toward it ever since.

So here I'll include some of my drawings thus far. Yes, I love drawing with ink, much like in the movie. There's something daring about not being able to correct your mistakes, less control. You can't be so anal about your marks. Ink smears and drips and that's just what it does. I become more of a conduit for the process to happen through me, rather than obsessing about each detail. I believe drawings are about finding some spirit rather than a mechanical reproduction. My drawings can be messy; I am a mess after, stained fingers, stained clothes, bloodied from the battle, or is it sullied from lovemaking?

I'm not really thinking about composition yet, just the doing is what matters. Most of the time I think they're shit until I come home and ponder them for a while. During flow state I'm not making decisions on what will look good. I'm just trying to see and make marks. You may like them or hate them, it's not why I do them. It's an exercise, a happening, not made to be a final product.


Davidson, North Carolina, USA

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