I went to a life drawing class this week and it is still one of my favourite things to do. I love just drawing, there is no concern as to who it is for or why you are doing it, much like the feeling of drawing as a child when you just scrawled things all the time. My dad taught me to draw, we used to sketch together and the first real drawing I did was from a Walker Evans photograph of Allie Mae Burroughs, from his series of the American depression. I studied her face so hard and learnt how to readjust my brain from seeing a preprogrammed nose and mouth and to just draw what I saw. I finally got it and have always loved drawing faces since. At art college the life room was my favourite place and I was always wary of those that couldn’t draw but were really good at talking loudly and confidently about their conceptual work. Wasn’t this like writing your life story at twenty? Shouldn’t you learn the basics first before developing other work..? I was ‘taught’ to draw and I would love art courses to be structured with the same values as a plumbing or computer course.. You learn step by step the basics. Maybe then schools would give art the time it deserves. To draw is also a quiet and reflective time and helps to formulate ideas and teaches discipline and structure but then I’ve always preferred the quiet person with a book who can be on their own than the loud mouth.
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