Friday, May 7, 2010

Pain Can Be a Good Teacher....Uh Huh!

We have had a couple of busy weeks lately so I missed posting last weekend. We took an unexpected trip up north to Manzanita, OR. Manzanita is a lovely little town on the north coast of Oregon and is soon to be our future home town.
It really is a good thing I like to juggle as it seems I have been doing a lot of juggling of tasks lately. In addition to daily life and working hard at school, I am reaching out a bit into the future to find a place to rent in the fall. Usually that is not such a problem but Manzanita is a tiny town of less than 800 souls and with a large number of short term vacation rentals but not many long term ones.
I have been occasionally checking Craigslist even though we are still a few months out and, much to my amazement, I found the perfect house. It has everything I clearly stated, out-loud and in writing, that I wanted. To make a long story short, we took a spur-of-the-moment trip up north and took a look. We submitted our application this week and are waiting to hear back from the landlady, who amazingly enough, lives here in Ashland! So, at the moment, we are keeping our fingers crossed.
In the meantime, there has been a lot of growth in the learning department for me at school. Alas,  I wish I could take a picture and point out all the areas of growth. I also wish I could tell you that it was a lovely joyful journey but we all know that just isn't the way it works!
One of my fellow art students is a gentleman in his 70's (I think) who told me that all his friends tell him how lucky he is since he just gets to relax, lounge around, and learn art. He laughs and says, "if they only knew how painful it is!" Painful indeed. Relaxing? More like blood, sweat, and tears (sometimes lots of tears)! Lest I get carried away and unintentionally scare someone away from putting in the time to learn art, the rewards for your toils are beyond imagining!
Yesterday I started out to work on my charcoal drawing and, after three hours of painful confusion, I made it worse! My drawing seized control from my tenuous grasp and merrily ran all over me. Yes, it really is possible! It sort of felt like opening an old fashioned wind-up watch case only to have all the springs sproing out all over the room. Finally, at the end of those three sweaty hours, I managed to coral it back in place where hopefully it will be docilely waiting for me on Tuesday.
The rewards for all that pain? My knowledge and skill took a giant leap forward! No worries though, I know very well that I will be taking a few steps back too. I managed to pull myself together during lunch (and after a phone call to my husband to lament, OK, whinge, a bit) so that I was able to take a few baby steps forward during our long-pose figure drawing session.
So, what do I have to show you this week? Well, the drawings from last week that I didn't get a chance to post. Here they are, the first is a photo of the actual cast, the second the final drawing, after 12 hours. It was a shorter session so the drawing is not as finished as the longer ones.

This guy is a true block head. We are currently working on another cast, the one that beat me up yesterday, and the long pose figure drawing. I will take a few pictures in progress but not the whole progression for next week. In the meantime, the weather is really trying hard to warm up and be, well, spring. I am aslo enjoying my walks to school through the lovely town of Ashland. Hope to have good news to report on the house statues next week. Until then, -Renee

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