I'm in a rut. It's not a bad rut, really—I still love spending hours on a detailed pencil drawing—but lately I've been yearning to return to a looser style.
Maybe it's because I recently unearthed a huge stash of my old drawings in my basement (photo below). As they are over thirty years old and have been through a basement flood incident or two, they're mostly browned and brittle and water-damaged. There are pads and pads of drawings, and while many should have been tossed long before now, there are still some drawings in there that I love and I found myself wondering: Could I still draw like that? Am I—thirty years and one Parkinson's diagnosis later—still capable of that loose style?
So, I grabbed a bowl of nuts and told myself that I could only spend 15 minutes or so on a sketch of them. To challenge myself further, I decided to draw with white pencil on black paper. I ended up with the little sketch above. It's fine, but it still felt way too tight to me.
I kept thinking about those old drawings, and the fact that many of them are from the numerous life drawing classes that I loved in college. So, I went online and found a weekly life drawing meetup in a local artist's studio—and signed up! My first session is this Thursday, and I'm a little nervous about drawing in front of strangers again, and drawing the human form for the first time in ages. When I worry that I'll totally bomb, I tell myself that my rusty skills won't return overnight, and "It's the process, not the product", but it's still going to take some guts to walk through that studio door.
I'll keep you posted. I'm trying to find a way to photograph and clean up some of the oldies, and if I'm really brave I may post some things from my Thursday session.
Or I may lose my nerve altogether and spend two days drawing an eggplant. Stay tuned.