Well, yes, I’ve been very busy with several things. After clearing away a lot of them, I decided last night that it had been long enough since I’d visited a “drop in and draw” studio to practice figure drawing, and so I went along. (I’ve written about this on previous occasions…you drop in, pay a fee towards the model’s salary, and then you draw. You can find such studios in your own city if you wish. There’s nothing like live figure drawing for practicing observation, hand-eye coordination, and a host of other skills that need regular maintenance.)

Anyway, I dropped in, said hi, started up some Kate Bush (“The Sensual World”) on the ipod (followed by Mayte Martin – “Al Cantar a Manuel”) and I drew. A great and welcome meditation it was. I was as rusty as a set of old garden hedge-trimmers, but it was enjoyable. There was maybe one semi-presentable result (see above… 22 minutes, and it is about 8in square; H and HB pencils on standard rough 11×14 sketch paper). The main thing (which is encouraging) to note is not that I’ve forgotten skills but that I have to really work to get them back flowing in concert with each other, and so everything takes longer. The benefits of learning over time by teaching myself and closely watching myself develop is that I’ve been able to figure out a lot of what it takes for me to make a drawing that I like, and so I can work to actively turn that it back on by doing the right kinds of processes to wake things up. I hasten to say that it does not make for transcendent drawings, but certainly ensures some kind of minimum level of dissatisfaction. Perhaps. Maybe I’d be saying something quite different it it were a year away instead of just several months…(and if I had not been maintaining basic skills in other ways like drawing on planes and subways…)



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