Monday, February 2, 2009


Went to class, drew this picture. After class felt panicked. I guess I'm not used to being with so many strangers. Nice people. A girl sat down at my table. She had strands of gray in her long, blond hair. She had with her a little toy teddy bear, about two inches tall. She was working only with magic markers. She cut white cardboard into medium sized squares and rectangles and then made colorful designs on them, lines, squiggles, zig-zags, circles and squares that covered up all the white and made them look like little oriental carpets. She had a small pile of finished artwork, and on top of this pile she placed her toy teddy bear, looking right at her. I don't know if she ever noticed that I was drawing a nude woman from a book of pornography. I wanted to ask her, "are you a virgin?" because I expected her to say, "yes I am."

There was someone else in the room with imagination like mine and this at first irritated me. When I walked in he was working on a watercolor drawing of a man with an eagle's head holding a pick ax standing next to a blue spotted leopard who was holding a shovel. "If I put an animal's head on their body" he said, "I don't have to worry about whether or not their eyes are too close together or if the nose is too big." I thought to myself that these are things I never worry about. That human faces, being more familiar than animal faces, are probably easier to draw. After he left I looked on the wall and saw that he had finished three watercolors during class and a fourth before today in a different class. The first watercolor was a group of people with animal heads all wearing red cross medical labels on their arms and carrying a stretcher with a passed out snake on it. This man sat on a tall stool and while he painted his shirt parted from his pants and you could see his lower back and his white men's underwear. This made me wonder about myself, and even though my back was to a wall, I stood, hitched up my pants, and then sat down again.

Three older women, with white and iron grey hair, all picked a spot in front of a bank of windows that over looks the river that runs right next to the stone foundation of our building. Each little old lady had something to copy. One had a photograph of a landscape, one had a magazine cut out of a painting of gardening tools and flowers, and the last drew from a portrait book the face of the black director, Spike Lee.

Last night Mike and I went to Wal-Mart and I bought a small, blue thermos. Since the class starts at 10am I want to be able to bring coffee with me. The thermos has a strap connecting to its handle and happily I can sling it over my shoulder, along with my book bag, that carries all my sketching material. There is a coffee shop one block down from the art school but I feel it is wasteful to buy coffee when I can make it so cheaply at home. How would it look when a girl on a scholarship buys expensive coffee for herself every class? As it was today I parked in the free parking lot where only patrons of local businesses are supposed to park. Art school students should conscientiously park where there is metered parking, but today, I had no quarters or dimes with which to feed the meter. I wrestle with my morality on the question of where to park. I like to save money, but then, I also like to follow directions. And there are signs posted all around the free parking lot saying "customers only". In the summer there will be someone standing there next to a sign saying "we tow" dressed in an orange traffic vest, making certain that people leaving their cars only walk directly toward the shops that are clustered around one end of the parking lot.

The teacher today suggested to me that the hand was too small, and I agreed, and re-drew it. Then we discussed how large to make the head. She suggested I draw different heads on a piece of paper, cut them out, and then layer them on top of the body to choose a head that worked the best. I erased the first attempt at a horses head but was happy with the second attempt. Now I have the challenge, what else to put in the picture? Is this horse woman in a park, a forest, or walking up the steps of a building? Do I draw more nude horse women? Tonight I will be looking through art books hoping for inspiration. Tomorrow I draw some more.

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