An inadvertently busy weekend. Now that yoga isn’t taking up my weekends, I took advantage of the free time. Joel Plaskett on Saturday (hi, Joel!) and Dr. Sketchy’s on Sunday.
I still don’t think I’m very good at drawing, but I no longer think “I can’t draw.” Everyone can draw because drawing is simply making lines on a page, however that looks for you. But as adults, we have better taste than when we were kids, and we want our drawing to match what we see in art galleries and books. We want it to be perfect, or at least I do.
Dr. Sketchy’s isn’t a life drawing class. It’s a burlesque show set to a timer instead of music (although there’s music, too). It’s at a club where you can drink cocktails (I had the gin basil smash last night). It’s a place and a model to draw. It’s the freedom to do your own thing. There are no grades, no crits, no one ever has to see what you made.
I grabbed two sketchbooks on my way out of the house, not realising that one only had a few blank pages left. I carry a pencil case with sharpener, eraser, 2Bs, and a grey Sharpie, but yesterday, I threw a handful of coloured Sharpies and a box of willow charcoal into my bag. It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and done some drawing, six months since I’ve been to Dr. Sketchy’s. I thought I’d do a lot of experimenting.
But I only had a few pages in the big sketchbook, and I filled them with the 1, 2, 5 minute poses. All I had was my lined spiral notebook which I carry with me everywhere and a little 3x5 block book. So that’s what I used. Even as the poses stretched out into 15 minutes, I made sketch after sketch, quick, gestural lines with neon pink and purple Sharpies. Markers make you quicker because they bleed through the paper when you linger. And when you linger, you give yourself time to wonder why it doesn’t look perfect.
Every drawing class I take, I think, this time I’ll learn shading, shapes, depth, dimension. This time I’ll learn how to draw more than lines. But as I said to the man sharing my table, who wondered aloud why I was writing while everyone else was drawing (or drinking), I’m a writer first. I try to default to calling myself an artist these days because I do so many different things.
But I am a writer first and forever. I make lines, and sometimes they come together to look like a person, and sometimes they form letters which form words.
I’ll keep experimenting with charcoal, pencils, pastels, but drawing a dozen tiny Sasjas, instead of spending the whole 15 minutes agonising over how I couldn’t get their face just right, felt so good. So me. This is why I write blog posts and zines instead of novels. I make tiny things.