Sunday, November 29, 2009


There were a lot of changes this week that I am still assimilating. One very welcomed change is in how I am seeing the things I am drawing. Something fell into place for me and I am beginning to make more sense of the act of drawing. It is difficult to explain. The challenging part of that is that now there is more to correct and get right! The picture above is the still life we did on Tuesday before Thanksgiving vacation. As always, the drawing is never really finished. I would want to work several more hours on it to get it to a satisfactory point. I would make the darks a lot darker for one and smooth out the shading. The star box was particularly challenging.
The biggest change came right before lunch. All of us students were asked to gather around and take a seat. Now anytime someone tells a room full of focused art students to put down their pencils and brushes and take a seat you know that something big is in the air. We all got seated and looked at each other a bit nervously as the director stood up in front of us to make an announcement. He started out his announcement by talking about change. That made us even more nervous and now all attention was riveted on him. I was almost holding my breath thinking that they were going to close the school and all move to Italy or something. Well, the school is not closing but it is Portland Oregon! We will be finishing the academic year here and then I will be starting my second year in Portland.
I called my husband during lunch break to let him know that we will be moving in a year instead of staying in Ashland as we had thought. Notice, there is no question that I will continue my studies with the Academy. Fortunately my husband is at a highly flexible stage in his life. Both of us will have some regrets at leaving Ashland. It is beautiful here, my husband is in a few bands and we are just getting to know the area and the local people. Portland does have a lot to offer in exchange. For the first time since we were married, we will be living in the same city as a few family members. They are recent arrivals to the Pacific Northwest and we will be happy to be able to get to know them better. Portland has a lot to offer an artist and is a vegan mecca to boot. I have never lived in a large city so it will be different. Portland has always been my favorite city too. I might have had to re-evaluate my school plans if they were intending to move to Detroit or some such city. Not all students will be continuing with the school when it moves but they will be able to grow their program much bigger than if they stayed here.
What a roller coaster of a ride these past few years have been. I am curious to see what will happen next. I am excited about the change in spite of the daunting logistics it will bring.
We have the rest of the year to enjoy Ashland and prepare for another move. Next Thanksgiving will be celebrated in Portland...
Back to work! -Renee


Life Looms Large said...

Wow - that is a big change! (The move). I had to look on google maps and I can see that it's over 4 hours away from where you are now. It's good that you guys are flexible and that you can continue, but I can see where there would be people who couldn't make that move.

Almost equally dramatic, your drawing looks different and better, stronger and clearer this week. That's quite dramatic too. Interesting to see that with focused attention and instruction suddenly something clicked, and it's something noticeable to your readers, not just to you as an artist.

Thanks for blogging about your journey!


R. Delight said...

Thanks for the encouragement Sue! You are right about the focused attention and instruction. I believe (as do the teachers) that anyone can learn to draw in such conditions. I will say though, you have to want it to endure the pain and tedium!

dana said...

Good golly, another move. Fortunately you live in a moveable house, but geez. Your drawing is looking great! The improvement is remarkable.

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