I'm going to be a complete girl about this, okay? but I don't like charcoal because it's so messy. And I hate smudging stuff, forever afterwards leaving fingertip prints all over the paper. I understand about the "being bold" and the "tactile mark making" but can we just decide it's not for me? please?
Saying that, I did get the scoopiness of the bowl and the curvy/dippiness of the fish and I love that I got the brow of the fish flat (top left) and dark - dark is good. But blech.. I have smudges on my face and sleeves and all over the paper. Damn charcoal.
The object of these exercises to to create shape. I'm a lazy flat cross-hatcher. It's a habit I've fallen into and am trying to break. Trying to force my marks around an object instead of meshlike over the top. I'm getting there. I am also about to burst forth and rediscover line - I've always loved line drawings especially where the consistency of line varies. We used to achieve that at Life Class by using kebab sticks dipped in indian ink - the fact that a kebab stick won't *hold* much ink at any one go meant for blobby, inconsistent marks. I liked that. I liked that a lot.
The Fish on Brown Paper (above) was a "warm up" of about 10 minutes done in charcoal and chalk. I spent about 50 minutes on the Pencil drawing (below) and I achived good shape and depth apart from the dumbass decision (mine - I made it) to darken under the bowl as if you could see it - which I couldn't. so shouldn'tve. Number One Rule of Drawing: Draw what you see. Number Two Rule of Drawing: DRAW WHAT YOU SEE! If it's not *there* don't draw it. Simple really.
I love drawing fish - they're so solid and long, with beautiful shapes and planes. I haven't painted them in years and they lend themselves beautifully to watercolour, in my opinion.
Focus michelle focus. That's the thing - I can't. I can focus on the fish. I can focus on your eyes. But I can't focus on co-ordinating the keys and the sketchbook and the pencils and the door and the ride and all the logistics of being me today.
I sat under a tree after drawing (its not a class so much as a group.. I'm the only person drawing there, the rest are painting - every Wednesday 930am-12pm in case you didn't know), thinking lovely thoughts for 20 minutes while I waited for Simon to pick me up. Just taking the complete luxury of time to be able to be alone with my thinks.
After that, I dropped 'round to see a lady I know. She's getting on in years well into her 80s, but still bright and funny and interfering and all those good things. I took her a bunch of lavender I pinched from the bushes outside Warehouse Stationery yesterday. A little bird had told me she was mad about lavender. She asked me how I was and I said I was fine. She looked at me and said "Sit down, on that chair. Over here." indicating that I pull an upright wicker chair out to the middle of the room. She told me to take off my cardigan and sit. She then began to rub her hands over my shoulders, Massaging into my shoulderblades "There's no tension here, that's good." she said. She talked about days when she was young - about 16 she said. Working in her first job in an accounts office when a traveller came in to see the Sales people. Her fingers pressed up my neck pressing her fingers on a sore spot "ahh there's some tension right there" she pressed harder before moving her hands up into my hair and over my skull.
She said the traveller never touched her nor she him, in fact he was on the other side of the room talking to the sales people when he turned and looked at her. When she met his gaze he said she had healing hands. Just like that. "You have healing hands." She continued "You know I don't know if that's true or not but I've always been able to make headaches disappear by doing this" and her soft arthritic fingers smoothed my brow from middle outwards, three soft fingerpads wide, slowly and over and over. Then she pressed them gently against my temples. "You have no pressure here" she said "that's good." Spreading her hands and fingers wide she pressed her hands on my head. My eyes were long closed by this stage and there were bright colours dancing on the inside of my eyelids.
She moved back down to my shoulders and said "No knots, that's good, you feel good." She stopped then, her arthritis means she can't do it for long anymore. She said I was to lie on the floor "two whole minutes Michelle, I'll time you" So I did as she instructed "I'm bossy, aren't I?" she laughed. Bossy like love, I thought. I lay flat on my back on her loungeroom floor while she timed me.
When I was allowed to get up again, I asked half jokingly "Same time next Wednesday, another bunch of lavender?" she laughed and we talked for a while. She talked about realising that she's going to live a bit longer than her mother and brother as she takes after her father's side of the family so will be here right into her 90s. I assured her that was a good thing as I liked her very much and would prefer she stuck around a lot longer.