Wednesday, February 27, 2013

16th New Thing ~ Hold That Pose

"Are you nervous?" Darcy asked. I stopped and looked at her. "Well, I am now," I said. 

We walked from the parking lot, past the coffee stand, into the Art Building. 

When I was at Central, the art building was perhaps my favorite. Something about the creative energy. And those male artists wearing Swedish clogs. 
Other than a photography class, I didn't take any art classes in three years, yet I spent a lot of time in that building. 

Flash forward....Steilacoom campus, Pierce College.

Darcy, my friend and art sanctum escort...
Darcy, who has her Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design from CWU, a Layout & Production Certificate from the Art Institute of Seattle and who is about to wrap up her Associates Degree in Digital Design at Pierce. . .
Darcy, who clearly has extensive experience with art classes and I'd imagine, experience with live models in some of those classes....
Darcy, walking with me into a studio set up with easels, metal stools, canvas cloths, brushes, paints, stretched canvas, sketch pads...
Darcy, who'd hooked me up to be a model for her Advanced Painting & Drawing class....

Darcy, my expert for all things 'art', fine and/or graphic, asks me, "Are you nervous?"

Nervous? No, I hadn’t been. I hadn’t even thought to be.
I'd felt fine about it. Great, even.
Enthusiastic and energized about the opportunity. Eager to see how my portrait might turn out. I felt completely safe and anonymous. I didn’t know Darcy’s teacher. I knew no one in her class. There was nothing to worry about. Right? I’d sit very still for a good long period of time and see what comes of it. Hopefully, something artful.

But if Darcy thought I should be nervous....well, she's the art expert here, right?
In a single moment my thoughts switched from, “This is going to be fun. I'm excited,” to “Wait. Do I have something to be worried about? Is there something I've failed to consider? Something I don't know? I hate when this happens. What could it possibly be? Think, think, think. What, what, what?” These and other questions were contained within my head but I’m pretty sure the pitch of my inner voice could be heard by all dogs and dolphins within a six block radius. 

The studio and the adjacent class room were empty when we arrived. Apparently, extra credit is sometimes offered to art students from another class who volunteer to be a live model. So Darcy wanted us to get there in plenty of time. First come, first serve, so to speak. We staked out the corner of the room with the best light and hopefully the most comfortable staging area for posing. Prolonged posing. I dropped my belongings there, the non-verbal calling of dibs and Darcy gave me a tour of the building. Including some of her own pieces on some of the walls of some of the halls.

I met Darcy's instructor, Dave Roholt, Art Professor. Sometimes referred to as Painting Master Dave Roholt.

Before we got to the posing part, Painting Master Dave had some professor-ing to do. The students gave Power Point presentations on individual artists.

Darcy said, that, throughout the quarter, there were approximately ten models in her Advanced Painting & Drawing class. Some models returned for repeat posing. (Understandable, with that extra credit motivation.) There were two or three models each session, allowing the painters/sketchers more than one model to choose from.

For 'my class,' there was myself, a young girl who appeared to be a student and an adorable child, I'd guess she was about 4 yours old. What is that entertainment saying about never working with animals or children...? From what I could tell, she did pretty well at sitting still. My perch didn't allow me a line of sight to watch her but my impression was that it was an exhilarating challenge for the artists on that side of the studio to draw or paint as fast as they could because at any moment, the four-year-old could simply be 'done now' and wiggle away.

I wondered how difficult it might be to sit still for an extended period. But overall, it wasn't too bad.

The toughest part was the nuance of facial expression. I had a specific focal point, so I knew exactly where to stare after each break. But consistently holding or not holding a certain amount of tension in my brow, or my jaw, or my mouth...this was not easy.

JeLan was fun to talk to,
even though I was supposed to be sitting still.

As an admirer and spectator of other people's art, my favorite medium is watercolor.
As an artist, Darcy's first choice of medium is NOT watercolor.
Darcy decided to challenge her preference and paint my portrait in watercolor. Now I'm not sure if this was Darcy honoring my preference, matching medium with subject. Or Darcy deciding that she'd put off a watercolor piece long enough and forged ahead with "Let's just get this over with."

During the class, someone commented that I did a good job of returning to the same position after each break. That some models don't. Darcy said that occasionally models would do their homework or be doing something with their phone and so their eyes were hard to capture, as they tended to be diverted downward. I had no homework to do and my phone is not a Smart one and therefore not at all captivating so I just focused on a point on the wall across the room.

Master Painter Dave

Going into this New Thing, I thought sitting still and staring off into space, would be difficult. Perhaps even physically uncomfortable.
But even more difficult and physically painful than sitting still, was not talking. Not being free to participate in the social interaction.
The room was full of people. Some of whom were quite interesting . . .  and I wanted to talk. They spoke to themselves and to each other as they worked, painted, drew. Laughing, commiserating, encouraging. I wanted to join in. I felt like the Little Match Girl standing out in the cold, lighting matches, looking through the window at the happy, warm family. But I had to sit still. Silent.
Or at least, try to.. The truth is that I wasn't entirely successful at this part. I kept forgetting not to talk. This should come as no surprise.

This is John John. With the great hair!

It was intriguing...wondering about what was happening on the other side of each easel. I wish I could have kept each portrayal. But I couldn't. They were class assignments, after all

This is Darcy. Also with great hair!

Thanks for the back-stage pass Darcy.

I'm either stretching during a break here.....or practicing my jazz hands. 

 I think Darcy was just screwing with me.  
There was no reason to be nervous at all.
It was a fun afternoon. Being back in an Art Building. 
Although I didn't spot any clogs, there was extra credit and creative energy flying freely in the air. 

Model for an Art Class ~ 16th New Thing

Turns out, Supermodels got nothing on me. 
Do Supermodels ever get extra credit for their work? I don't think so. 
Okay, well neither did I, as I'm not currently enrolled in any art classes at Pierce. But still. 
Instead, Dave gave me a Snicker's Bar. Full size. 
How many super models do you know who get paid in full size candy bars? 
Take that anorexic model types! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Three of the coolest people I know

Read this......   Blackbird Owl & Sparrow

I have unspeakable gratitude for my friends and supporters who, out of their love for me, have extended their kindness and generosity to my daughter and her family:

  • Storing belongings! 
  • Attending Yard Sales! 
  • Loaning vehicles!
  • Donating to Go Fund Me "Panama Bound"
  • Committing to a monthly support amount!
  • Lifting Ciara, Ephraim & Sequoia up in their prayers!

I am so blessed. I simply could not have more precious and consistent support in my life.
'Thank you' doesn't seem to be enough, but thank you.