This week we began two new projects. I was very excited, feeling like I had done well during week 1 and 2, I was filled with an anticipation and confidence. I knew we were going to begin drawings from real 3-dimensional plaster casts of different parts of the body. Feeling perhaps just a little cocky I thought; "I think I will chose a hand or a foot, they are always the trickiest and I need the practice." Feeling a little full of myself I thought, "I should pick something hard to ensure I really challenge myself, learn something new and avoid getting bored." Arriving in class I saw the only choices available to us 'beginners' were: An eye, an ear, a mouth and a very large nose. Each one a large portion of a sculpture made all in white plaster. Being a few minutes late having stopped for a cappuccino, choice was limited. So I found myself in front of my easel staring at a giant nose and thinking - "this is the next two weeks of my life. Me and this nose. So much for avoiding boredom."
How humbling life can be... By the end of day one I was quite honestly on the verge of tears. how can a nose be so insanely difficult!? At the end of the day I did not have one single point or mark on the page that I felt was a "true" mark in exactly the right spot. I can tell you, it's more than a little ground shaking when you think "I make my living as an artist, yet I can't draw a nose." I went home feeling dejected and discouraged, wondering "what am i doing here?"
That evening I did some homework. We are supposed to be practising our drawing techniques by sketching statues around Florence. Getting out to sketch statues on street corners with two young children in tow is not a reality for me. So I chose the next best thing available to me. Sketching my children at sleep, a motionless, peaceful form to work from. Sitting in the dark on the end of the bed,with no eraser of sharpener handy I sketched my daughter. Although it is not a photographic representation, the image captured the serene peaceful air of my little Sadee sound asleep. And even though the drawing is not identical, her features are recognizable. I was shocked. Through all the frustration something from school is sinking in, slowly filtering through. I went to bed feeling encouraged. When I woke up this morning on day two of drawing the nose, I felt determined and much more humble in my approach. I have another week and a half with this nose. It is much harder than I ever could have imagined. Admittedly a "nose" was not my first choice for a drawing but this is what art class has put in front of me, obviously there is MUCH for me to learn and I am determined to make it a phenomenal drawing.
It may only be a nose, but OH WHAT A NOSE IT WILL BE!
Next entry, "Life and Fun in Florence"