Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Life Drawing #1 (1982-1983?)

This is the first of six life drawings I will be posting. They were done in an informal life drawing group that met for two hours on Tuesday evenings at Western Washington University in the Art Department. They were drawn on a large newsprint drawing pad, using A.W. Faber Castell pencils. I am grateful to Tom Sherwood for teaching me life drawing in the context of a small community class sponsored by Bellingham Parks and Recreation. I had always been able to "draw," but in his class I learned how to really look at what I was drawing. He showed us how to hold out a pencil at arm's length and make measurements, so that a drawing had correct proportions. It was a simple tool that made all the difference in the world in my life drawings. I am also grateful to R. Allen Jensen, in whose classes I began to do life drawing using chalk pastel. R. Allen Jensen's voiced appreciation of those pastel drawings was a turning point for me in that I realized my drawings "said" something to someone else. The pastel drawings were bold and colorful, more like paintings than drawings. In a class critique, another student said, in a way that I felt was dismissive, that my drawings worked mainly because of the strong color. I took what I thought was negative criticism to heart and did a drawing with black pastel chalk in a similar style to the colorful pastel drawings and brought it in for the next critique. I still laugh when I remember R. Allen Jensen's words, "Well, obviously she has nothing to say in black and white." I'll be posting "Nothing to Say in Black and White" soon.

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