Sunday, October 16, 2011
I did a Marathon!
OK, stop laughing, it was a 12 hour life drawing marathon at the River Gallery School of Art in Brattleboro VT. I can't believe I finished it...totally surprised myself. At the end of the 12th hour there were only a handful still standing (slumping over my easel trying not to fall off my stool and fearing I wouldn't walk the next day) just me and some cute boys about one third my age, who must have shared some of their youthful energy.
Matt Peake, one of the instructors from the school, facilitated the event; coordinating models and setting up lights, backdrops, poses. There was no official instruction, but Matt was generous in helping participants achieve success with their drawings and paintings. I usually sketch in ink and I think I was the only one using it. Others used charcoal, pencil, conte, watercolor, acrylic and pastel. It was a great chance to experiment with medium or just to stick with one thing and really explore that for all poses....about 35, counting some very short warm-up poses. I hope they do it again so I can finally say at the end of a life drawing session, "I'm ready to stop drawing and go home." I am usually the one who does not want it to end. Apparently I am not alone. Why else would someone even think up a life drawing marathon?
BTW, if you are not a committed sketcher of the human figure, you may not understand the purpose life drawing has traditionally and still fulfills for an artist. Since the human form is complex and difficult to draw accurately it hones the observation skills of artists who practice it regularly, often frustrating and infuriating them, too. It is undertaken for the practice, not for the end product. That is why my life drawings can most often be viewed at Recycling.
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