Week two at life drawing class. Tonight’s challenge was to draw for about an hour and a half; whoop loads of time to practice my new construction / measurement technique.
I am really not a methodical, considered type of artist (yep, I use the term artist in the loosest sense here!); I’m a whack it down, go with the flow, fingers crossed type of gal. So, to be constrained, sufficiently, to measure and make marks for over an hour was a huge challenge. So much in fact that my art college bestie was so shocked that I had the patience to measure and construct for 10 mins – that really blew her mind! But, given I’m attending my class to learn something new, I thought I’d give it a go.
After an hour of measuring, keeping my arm straight and small light strokes (that in itself is so un house of Wendy like), I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself.
Ahem, again my bubble was about to be burst!
Major, aka mr tutor, was making the rounds. As he stopped at me he shared a story about one of Lucien Freud’s pals (I really should have scribbled down the name – sorry), who applied the Pareto theory to art – i think (?) it was along the lines of 80% accuracy 20% could be better – but it’s the could be better that gives it the passion / feeling. Actually, in my world, I’d reverse that; 20% talent, 80% passion! I was really offended and I know I should not be. I tried, against my instincts to do the ‘technique’; to draw properly – and hey my best pal was impressed at my attempts – so, I must be doing something right?
But, as per usual, I returned from class and reviewed the evening (sat at my window with a glass of red in hand).
How was Major to know that spending an hour being constrained was a big deal for me? (mind I did try to explain, but obviously not well enough). He saw a middle aged lady (ouch, that hurt to write that), dressed in corporate wear (I’d been to work – surely a some well pressed pants and heels don’t define you?) who studied a Foundation Art course 20+ years ago and who was fastidiously sat there measuring to perfection . I felt I’d been put in a box… You know, boxes are boxes and that’s fine but I realised I was in the wrong box!
After my chat with major and he showing me the ‘sculptures’ work (the chap is actually an pottery technician with, well founded, aspirations by the look of things (mind, I said he should go with the sculpture title; boxes and that!) I spent five mins fleshing our my drawing and it came alive (IMHO) – 20/80%? Just as the session was about to close, I noticed the sculpture had moved seat and was going to fit in a new sketch in – I followed suite.
As much as I was proud of my restraint and my one hour plus drawing, I did a quick minute sketch and annoyingly guess which one I prefer?
Bah humbug. Major was right… But, I don’t think I’m going to be put in a box next week – if I am, I think it may change shape x