Probably not really the appropriate use to mean “on retreat”, but it makes for an interesting title. Anyway, I’m on retreat for a week. As you may know, I am in the habit of disappearing for Spring Break, and I try to get away from it all (or most) and have some time to myself, and maybe also work on a project. You will recall that Death Valley is often a destination, but for what I wanted to do this Spring Break, my old haunt won’t work. So instead I am in a small town somewhere on the California coast. I’ve set up shop in a little condo I’ve rented, and I’m trying to get some writing done on The Project. I need to do a lot on the computer, putting together a lot of the material and scripting it out properly, which also involves planning and thumbnailing the pages. This is a slow process that needs lots of immersion, and I’ve not been able to do that this semester much… so this is why I’ve devoted the Spring Break to it. My routine so far has been to go for a short run on the beach first thing in the morning (not for long….I am not a runner really, and only like running on surfaces like grass, and sand that don’t hammer back too much, but it is exhilarating to do a short run in the morning and get all the juices flowing…) and then sit down to work over breakfast. But since this is really day 2, it is not clear if this is really a pattern or not.
This afternoon I sought out the local “drop in and draw” session to do a bit of life drawing from a model. Just as I’ve mentioned before (see two posts ago for example) you can often find such things in your local town, and it is not too hard in areas such as coastal California towns since there are lots of artists living in such places, and they seem to like and appreciate the value of life drawing practice. So I showed up, paid my money, and went into the studio and drew. The people were welcoming, did not pry too much into my business, and it was quite a pleasant way of spending some productive time. One unfortunate thing was that they do not do poses longer than 20 minutes, and so I was not able to dig my teeth into the finishing stages of my longer drawings (I’ve got used to 25 minutes for the longer poses at the end of sessions), so everything I did was far more incomplete than I’d have preferred especially because the model was really excellent (also, I’m still quite slow after not doing this for a long stretch). Oh, and it was a rare (for me) occurrence of a male model, which was a welcome change. The place I go to in Los Angeles does not use them, and other places I’ve been to while travelling happened to have women on the days I’ve visited, so this was a first for me.
Anyway, so that was three productive hours. It is after dinner now, and after this post I hope to spend another few hours working on thumbnails before calling it a night.