I'm back in class and that means more stories, more searches for color, more drawings that I'll upload for comments, more running around with grubby hands, snatching gallery guides so I can troll the streets searching for openings, art, but perhaps most of all, free glasses of wine.
In the Frick, we spread out, armed with our sketchbooks and assignment--three drawings, and mix it up this time--and we have an hour and forty-five minutes. Spend it wisely.
Don't stand in the gift shop like me and marvel at what is around you: the walls lined with postcards and black and white prints, enormous books against the shelves: the jackets in the boring muted tones run together. Hotel buffet salmon-pink, sea-scum green. Silk-screened totes and wide pine floor boards.
Shake it off, clutch your book and keep moving, past the crowds of slow-moving patrons, the arguing Russians, the surly staff who by now must find no beauty in what they do, protecting priceless things from us--loud-mouthed tourists we all are in this room where we ooh and ahh.
Grab your pens, scratch and the pad and scowl as you desperately try to sketch this relief of Mary, find yourself shouting out the name of her son as you slip and screw it up. Compose yourself, keep going, scratch scratch scratch for twenty minutes, leaving scars in the paper where you've gone too deep, and then, a 70 year old woman who is shouting out everything that comes up on her audioguide, leans over and tells you "that's kind of good," and you can't help but stand a little straighter and scratch a little louder as if someone will see.
Next up get the pencils, look in the dog-eared pages of the book and choose the next page--do you dare to draw on the back of a good drawing at the risk of affixing something mediocre to something you'd be proud of, knowing full well that if you do, someone could always flip the page and all that they thought of you could be erased in an instant.
Say to hell with it, go on and do it, retreat to the dining room and draw the chandeliers, feel all right about it, then draw the door and irretrievably screw it up and again mutter the name of Mary's son and then look at your cell phone and see that time is up, and you must show what you've done, which is not much.
But it's okay to do not much when you're surrounded by so much. It's okay, because you keep trying, because you think, with no sentiment at all, that you love this in a way. You love art even though you are no genius and you'll never be. And also, that love is a true one, because you are getting nothing back and still you do it because some day you believe you will.
Pictures to come...