On the last two Saturdays we have been drawing from a live model at the Arts Center. Today Sydney was the model, though you would never know it from my drawing. I had trouble getting her likeness, which is really not supposed to be the point. Nevertheless, when you know the model you feel pressured to produce a likeness for the sake of friendship. I did better last week on Paul Weber, who I don't know very well, and less well on David O. This is supposed to be practice, not geared to results.
We are very professional, the five or six of us who have been attending this activity. We time the poses and mark the placement when the model takes a break. We are serious as we scratch at our paper, erase, smudge, try again. We concentrate, scowling. There is no talking or laughing. We attend to business. Nothing exists but the task at hand. There is no broken hearing aid, no heating bill, no over-drawn bank account. There are no appointments or chores to do. There are no animals to feed or plants to water or meals to cook or shopping to do. There is no misery or happiness. There is nothing but line and form. There is attention brought to a pin-prick, the crayon touching the paper. The world shrinks to fit into this one room, even to one part of the room, where we have assembled our chairs and taken out our materials. Our vision begins at our paper and ends at the model. Our awareness of each other is minimal. We are in a state of grace.