Thursday, May 1, 2008

I knew nothing about drawing when I walked into Hale’s drawing and anatomy class at the League. I was hungry, no not hungry, starving to be taught something. “If you draw what you see, wait until you see what you draw” I remember from his first lecture. When the model took a back view I would sigh to myself and wonder what I was going to do for 20 minutes. I drew what I saw, a rather lumpy outline. There were no facial features to fuss over, no nipples or bellybuttons to adorn my flat figure, so I was rather lost. Then, lecture after lecture, I was introduced to the bones and muscles that made up that lumpy outline, I learned about their form and function. Amazing. All of a sudden there were the seventh cervical vertebrae and the eighth rib, the graceful trapezius and the powerful latissimus dorsi. I felt the hand of knowledge caressing me and my heart began to pound in my chest. I became aware of light and shade, front planes and side planes, my circles became spheres, my squares cubes. The figure now had rhythm, mass and dimension, she sat in space and projected a presence. The rib cage began to breathe, I could see the shoulder blades spread as the model wrapped her arms around the front of her torso, the spine gently twist as she turned her head, the muscles of the leg and buttocks flattening as they rested on the seat. That lumpy outline now has a beautiful flow that I am aching to express. When the model takes a back pose I no longer sigh with despair, I take a deep breath of excitement and my heart starts to race again…..

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