Monday, March 14, 2016
On retreat 2
I wrote last week about my days at the retreat center, and how I started off frustrated. Fortunately that changed.
The third day of the retreat, my drawing teacher (who is also a member of my fiber arts group) showed up and seemed amenable to being distracted from her own work. I was able to get a lovely afternoon of one-on-one tutoring. I spent that day working on still life drawing and finished two large pages in the sketchbook, which gave me a boost. The last day I worked on a much more elaborate still life and finished it just before we had to clean up and go home.
When you try to set up a drawing exercise in a strange place, you have to scrounge around for props and equipment that would be easy to find at home. I rummaged through all the kitchen cabinets to find the right pottery (I wanted ones with no patterns to distract and complicate the drawing). Then I had to find a pedestal to put them on.
I found a clean pillowcase in the linen closet to drape my pedestal, and set it up in front of a white flannel design wall. And I used the wood rack where all the plastic rulers live to hold one ruler, tipped vertically, to help me gauge how the different parts of the still life composition related to one another.
I loved this apparatus, so much that I think I'll try to rig up a similar rack at home. It was so helpful to be able to get a plumb line through the middle of the composition without the traditional hold-the-pencil-out-and-measure-with-your-thumb approach that I have not yet properly learned.
Here's what the still life looked like, posing for me: