I played truant the other night. It was week five of my ten week drawing course and in the absence of a half term holiday, I decided to give myself the week off. It wasn’t all down to rebellion though. A couple of nights previously, I attempted a 5k run with my local running club and for the next two days developed an impressive Keyser Söze limp after the shock I gave my poor knees, so didn’t relish the thought of standing at an easel for three hours.
My drawing course this term is taken by a scruffy little Greek man who has but one working eye. I’m not sure if he teaches perspective but it should be interesting if he does. I haven’t worked out yet if the other is glass or real, but his frequent tripping over easels all seems genuine. We spent the first week drawing a paper bag, and the second the same paper bag but crumpled a bit. The next couple of weeks we drew the chunky bits you get in posh pot pourri from a job lot the tutor had bought from a charity shop. Except mine looked less like seeds and more like an eyeball and a willy.
The class is mixed, though mainly women; some accomplished, some a little neurotic. There’s a lovely man who always places his easel next to mine. He smiles the whole time and gives my work a constant stream of compliments. At least I think they’re compliments; he tends to talk at a level only audible to bats and dogs so I struggle a little to hear him and don’t even know his name. There was also a hottie in the group which got me momentarily excited. He’s still in the group but I no longer find him hot. That stopped abruptly the moment he spoke and I discovered he sounded like Joe Pasquale.
But the course has made me realise that I don’t actually like drawing; it’s a means to an end to make my painting better. Having said that, I hope I still like painting – it would be a bit of a barrier to becoming an artist if I didn’t like drawing and painting (though it hasn’t stopped Damien Hirst). I’ll find out soon as my next painting course starts on Saturday…