Here is the work from last week’s Bargue. I have come a long way from the last post but have a long, long way to go. Firstly, the belly in the Bargue drawing is slack and relaxed. Mine is tense. This changes the entire pose and in adjusting it I am going to make a number of small adjustments that will effect the whole drawing. The loin cloth is too long and misshapen. Thigh to butt space is still too skinny. One of the arms is too thick. Lisa and I came up with at least twenty adjustments that are needed just from where it is right now. Finishing the top of the head being the least important. This can be very frustrating because it “looks” so close.
We have been working on the same Bargue drawing for a few weeks now. I have gotten to the point a few times where I really want to stop and move on to another drawing. A point where I really think I can not see any clearer or look any harder. Each time, even before I say anything my teacher, Lisa Silas anticipates the angst. She says that is at this stage of the drawing that you learn the most, the you stretch and grow the most. Under her firm and unwavering critique my eyes finally refocus again and adjust to see what she is pointing out and what I can do to become even more accurate in the drawing. More and more I see that the Bargue drawings are not about drawing the best copy of the drawing. It is about taking every opportunity to stretch your ability to look, to explore line and shape and work the muscles of perception until they literally ache. This training is already changing the way I paint in my off-school time in huge ways. The discipline of it is changing my level of commitment to my own artistic path.
When artist and co-founder of the school, Jonothan Chorn welcomed me when I first started out he welcomed me to a “way of living”. I thought that strange at first but I am beginning to understand that the rigors of a classical training program and the discipline involved create just that, a way of life shared by you, your teachers and your fellow students. It is becoming more and more treasured by me.