Me, far right, back toward the camera, painting studio critique, c. 1968
I read something today that said so many of the things I try to say and can never quite articulate. It is about drawing and about being an art student and about finding art and finding yourself and being in the moment and it was written so beautifully I wanted to cry. Read it here. Read it now if you want. It will take awhile, but it will be worth it. At least it was to me.
It took me back to being a student and remembering the feelings, the smells, the intensity of the studios. It made me remember the feel of charcoal on paper and seeing in a new way. It made me remember how you might cry when your work was critiqued—not because the critic had been cutting or unkind, but because it mattered. So. Much.
"I was unaccustomed to putting myself in this exposed position on a weekly basis, but it was through these sessions that I learned the practice of looking at work openly, on its own terms. I learned how to articulate with kindness and specificity what I saw in a drawing, whether it was successful or confusing, technically adept or sloppy, moving or clichéd. Most of all, I began to understand the importance of vulnerability, which I’ve come to believe is anybody’s best offering..."
It made me miss those days of such concentration and commitment and having a teacher. Wouldn't it be lovely to have a wonderful teacher just drop in now and then and gently guide what you are doing, and tell you the truths that you need to hear, even if it makes you cry, and tell you how far you have come? Wouldn't it?