I am taking a drawing class. Oh boy.
I earned this class by virtue of volunteering at a local arts organization for 100 hours — answering the phones and staffing the reception desk, mainly. “No, sir, the pastel portrait class is still cancelled, and no, the instructor will not give you a different answer. If you insist, I will give her a note to call you.” “No, I can’t give you the phone number of the painter whose work you saw in an exhibit in a gallery in the city last month — especially when you’re not sure of the last name — because I’ve never heard of them and they’re not listed on our website.” “Yes, you can register for the Zen of Printmaking* which started last week, but you still have to pay the full amount of tuition. No, we do not pro-rate fees. No, the instructor will not give you another answer.” “If you want to drop off crafts to sell in the gallery, you need to make an appointment to see the gallery director. Really.” “Sorry, the Insanely Popular Collage course** is full. It fills up the first week of registration. You can speak to the instructor, but there are two people already on the wait list and you will be put at the bottom.” And so on.)
I wasn’t sure if I was going to go today; it’s raining and my legs and elbows are hurting. I made myself go — drawing class is something I look forward to a great deal and I figured it was good for me to get out of the house. I had to sit down for class, which makes drawing trickier, but I still went. Yay me.
Herewith my notes from art class:
Aaaaaarrrgggghhhh!!! still life! Complex forms!!!! FLOWERS!!!!! Run away!!!!!
I hate ginger jars. Damn things are hard as hell to get proportioned right. Give me a wine bottle any day.
Apples are not round are not round are not round. Oranges are round. Pears are…. um, pear shaped. Grapes are a pain in the ass. Which is why I decided to draw the stupid ginger jars, remember? So I wouldn’t have to draw the grapes?
Gee, I never thought of it before, but R. (the instructor) is sort of a cross between Jimmy Stewart and Keanu Reeves. Which could explain the popularity of his classes. Good thing he’s also a good teacher.
Yay! R. said I had a good composition! So the fact that I cannot draw the thumbnail sketches (to determine composition) to save my life but instead have to sort of figure it out as I actually start drawing didn’t kill me.
Why do the other students tell me I’m doing a good job? I don’t feel like I am. It’s so damn frustrating — I can’t translate what I see to what I can put on paper. It’s almost enough to turn one into an Abstract Expressionist.
Damn, forgot to turn off the cell. No, Not-so-little Drummer Boy, I am not going to drive over on your lunch period and drop off the lab notebook you left at home. I’m in class. I’m making art, here.
Actually, what I’m making is charcoal dust, which I am getting all over myself. Once again I end up looking like Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins. I might as well take up sweeping chimneys and be done with it.
Oh, well, as the song says, art isn’t easy.
But it is fun.
*Not a real class. But wouldn’t it be great if it were?
** Not a real class, either — but a description of one of the classes we offer. It’s not a beginning class, so people repeat it. There is a mad rush when registration opens to get signed up.