A good day

Great day today, at least it feels like it now because I just came from drawing studio and I am excited!

Erik’s sick, though. 😦

Journal entry about my series of bad dreams last night, then did my best to exorcise those dreams in my morning pages. The pages helped for today; whether they’ll help in the long run remains to be seen. Emails. Tidied the office, went through the papercrafting books I checked out yesterday from the library and flagged projects I want to try. Did some household cleaning. After lunch, began scanning in more old photos; scanned, edited, and uploaded for two hours. Whew. I love the giant wave of Facebook feedback I get after uploading these, though. We have a great family and old-friends connection. 🙂

That was basically it until dinner time. After dinner I put gas in the car (sigh, we’re out of credit-card budget for the month… already), then drove the two freeway exits to Richmond and circled the Richmond Art Center several times, parking the car and walking hopefully and aimlessly until I finally figured out the art center adjoined the City Hall and was not nearly as well labeled.

Difficulty in finding the place notwithstanding, I am now in love with the RAC. I don’t know; it feels good. It’s a place for art, and not a snooty place; there is kids’ art hanging out with grown-up encaustics and stuff like that. (Frankly, I don’t even know what encaustic is, but every time I read the word it just sounds so… artsy. I haven’t looked it up because I love not knowing what it means, and having my own feeling about it.) My class was in the painting studio, which is a proper painting studio with lights and all, and the class monitor (there’s no instructor because it’s self-directed), whom I’d expected to be some young minimum-wage employee, turned out to be the outreach director. She was very friendly and cool (reminded me of Wendy at Echo Park) and made me feel very welcome… which, it turned out, was a perfectly natural way for her to behave toward me, because I think I was the only person in the class who was new to it and new to the center. Everyone else — including the model — has been taking the studio regularly, or at least used to take it regularly enough that they’re now well known to the other people and to Kato, the monitor/director. Kato had us all introduce ourselves, and it was a very funny round. It went something like this:

WOMAN: Hi, I’m Suzanne. I really like figure drawing.

KATO: You like figure drawing! Suzanne used to teach figure drawing here.

SUZANNE: Oh stop, now my drawings will have to be good.

KATO: No no, no they won’t.

MAN: I’m John, and I just really like to draw.

KATO: Psssh. His murals are all over Richmond.

So yeah. It seemed like half the class worked in art in some way. It was very cool being among all these mature artists, without any instruction. I think I will learn a lot from this experience. Without a teacher who has a syllabus to follow, I’m free to explore as my own inclinations take me. I can try different media, I can spend an entire class focusing on ankles and knees if that’s what I want to do (this would undoubtedly benefit me greatly), I can forget realism and do something very stylized. It’s liberating to have this unsupervised time to just draw from a model… and I can even take an additional 3 hours of studio time if I want it, each week!

The model, by the way, was very lovely, and has been modeling for the RAC since the 1970s. Craziness. We will get a different model each week, so that will be fun, too.

We did 10 2-minute poses, 4 5-minute, 2 10-minute, 1 20-minute, and 1 40-minute. I got off to a slow start but things started picking up once I switched to vine charcoal, and then my final drawings in soft (7B) pencil were really nice. I’m so proud of my last one; it’s the best drawing I’ve done yet. I think it even manages to keep some of that softness that sketches often have and drawings often lack. Maybe it’s just because our model was an older woman with squishy parts and mature curves? Anyway, yay, it’s a good drawing. Suzanne said so and she’s the figure drawing teacher. ;b I will take a photo of it tomorrow, when there’s more light, and post it.

I’m so excited about this class and am really looking forward to the next eight weeks of it!

Oh, but I did keep thinking while I drew, “Okay, so I can do pencils now. I STILL don’t know what my comics are going to look like. Blrgh.”

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