This semester, Brandon organized a Thursday evening figure drawing session. It's not a class, so it's open to anyone who wants to come to the drawing room at the University where he teaches and draw a live model. The artists and art students who attend put five dollars in a jar, which the model gets to keep after posing for two hours.
After each drawing session, Brandon takes a picture of the drawing he made and texts it to me, so I thought I would share the five drawing that has Brandon made so far. The drawing at the top of the page is the most recent, and they are shown here in order of newest to oldest. Even though Brandon hasn't drawn the figure in a formal session like this since he was a student himself, he hasn't forgotten how to wield a stick of charcoal! I think each one is better than the last.
When Brandon and I were in college together, one of the professors in the art department hosted a weekly drawing session, and we hardly ever missed it. To non-artists, or new artists, it can be strange to attend a live drawing session where there's a naked person set up on a small stage under dramatic lighting and surrounded by circle of folks hunched over their drawing horses intensely concentrating. But once you get over the initial shock of looking at someones body, it's really a very cool experience.
I always enjoyed studio classes too, but when you are drawing, painting, or sculpting in a class, you get feedback from your teacher and your classmates. One of the things I liked most about the open drawing session was that there's no pressure to meet the parameters of an assignment or incorporate someone else's advise. It's just people together making drawings. Quietly practicing, their minds lost in the task or in the music.
Mom, do you remember that time you encouraged me to show my great uncle my college portfolio? Ha! I kept looking at mom with a "are you sure about this look" but she, as a proud mother who is an artist herself, didn't really consider that it would be really awkward to look at a stack of naked lady drawings with him. So I said, "Okay" and started lay out drawing on the kitchen table. He looked at about three of them, got a little red in the face, and muttered something about them being really good before slowly backing out of the room. Poor Uncle!