q. i. f.?

Session

A new milestone: I got out to a life drawing session, set up through Meetup, last night. It was up around 125th St., west Manhattan; for me, an hour by subway each way. But it was inexpensive and altogether worth the effort. I haven’t drawn from a live model in studio fashion like this in quite a few years — possibly as long ago as my last term at U. of Maryland, twenty years next spring.

This session, held in a student’s room, was poorly attended even though a number registered intention to go — a shame, in that the model was really good (I thought, for what that’s worth) and might have been stronger still with more participation, but on the other hand sort of nice for me, in that fewer strangers packed in a small space together meant a relatively easy time getting focused.

There is something terribly poignant and problematic about a handful of white men doing their damnedest at diligent work and egalitarian respect over a young black woman’s body in this very free-market American scenario, it has to be said. I’m grateful for opportunity for this exercise! But glad also, in the moment, to have been mostly too intent on the drawing to stand outside myself and observe.

Three on the drawings page, by the way, the 15–20 min. poses from last half of the session. I stuck to a little graphite stick, working rough — a good strategy. Unprepared as I was, working that way at least left no room for paying attention to frustrations; it was all go.

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