From My Sketch Book, Gesture Drawings of Ballet Class
My sophomore year Drawing II class had a significant impact on my decision to get my BFA in Painting. My professor for that class put a lot of emphasis on "warming up" for the first twenty minutes of class with that time being spent drawing gestures of the model. The model would hold a pose for 30 seconds, 45 seconds, and 1 minute, repeating the cycle with a new pose for each interval. I marveled at the fact that an artist could make a drawing have so much life, with just a few bold strokes. My professor marveled at this too, and when passing by my easel one morning stated "Your mark making is so painterly, I don't understand why you would ever entertain the idea of doing anything else." Naturally, this got my wheels turning. Even now, however, I like to go back to drawing a series of gestures, even if I am not doing figurative work, to keep up the energy and varied mark making.
Yesterday I had the privilege of sitting in on Charlotte Foster's Youth Ballet Class at her dance studio, Atlanta Dance Central. I am showing some of my work at a fundraiser for Atlanta Dance Central, which is to be held at the studio on Friday, August 27th, and thus wanted to get to know the students and have a much needed inspiring drawing session. Naturally, being young and attending their first day of class, these dancers were significantly more mobile than the typical model often seen in a drawing class. The challenge was nice however, pushing me to focus on the big picture and not get caught up in details, or concentrate too much on what I was putting on the paper; just drawing what I saw. I am hoping to turn these sketches into small paintings, to be sold at the show, and treasured by those who work so diligently at another beautiful craft.