(it's important to know these things)
wanna know about the Etching and Printmaking? or should I tell you about the Life Drawing first
decisions, decisions. . .
I could take you step by step how to prepare your plate for etching. . . or I could tell you about imaginary plumb lines and movement away from the vertical
or I could tell you about the thoughts that flooded thru my head as I sat in the near silence of the drawing class, the only noise breaking thru being the sound of charcoal on paper (apart from when my easel fell apart) (perhaps a small vortex in the space time continuum had opened up and swallowed an essential part of its construction)
ever used an easel? I hadn't until yesterday - I think they ought be called diffcultl actually and I think you'd need to have taken an evening course in carpentry or woodwork to be able how to get the blasted thing to do what you wanted it to do! as well as drawing the model, I wanted to write my thoughts across the paper - a whole stream of them
the tutor came to look at my work (I was the only beginner, everyone else had attended this class or a Beginner's class before) (did I realised I'd signed up for Intermediate? did I heck); she said I had "a bold stroke" and "made excellent use of the space on the paper" (I think these were positive and encouraging comments, but it was slightly difficult to tell); she then told me what I was doing "wrong"
"but it's ART" I thought, "it can't be wrong, surely?" I wasn't drawing a photographic image of the nude, I was drawing what I saw. . . it turns out that there is a lot more to see than my eyes were open to, so I learnt a little of what that was
that was yesterday (the real highlight of which was the flapjack served in the canteen at breaktime)
today (no flapjack, sadly) I realised how much I had learnt and - more importantly - still remember from various aspects of being a fledgling bookbinder and printer. . . I realised I have a good grasp of the technical skills that will be required for creating etchings. . . I realised I can sketch a reasonable sketch, so might be able to etch a reasonable etch. . . I realised I am still able to converse with strangers (Etching is very chatty, compared to Life Drawing - which is very quiet). . . I realised that I know in my head what I want to achieve. . . I realised that all the drawing I have been doing during my enforced sejourn in The Tower of the river and the tidepools and the ebb and flow of the water and the light on the water and the wind and the ripples on the surface of the water and the boats have stood me in good stead for knowing how I can achieve the images I now realise that I want to create when I start printing. . .
and what is weird is that all the hours I have sat up here, on the wraparound balcony, drawing what is below, have given me a grounding for something I now realise I want to do - and yet I didn't realise that at the time: at the time I just thought I was filling in the hours between waking and nightmares and taking pills and trying to control my panic attacks and anxiety
similarly, all the hours I sat at the Head Hospital drawing the leaves in the trees above me and the shadows they made on the page and the interplay of the light and the shadows on the paper, have also produced some ground works for printing images. . .
. . .and I am filled with awe and amazement
not with myself, or my "art", but just that each minute and each hour of the past few months have led me to the point today where I feel fairly positive
and that is
a good thing
a good thing
so thank you - yes YOU! - for bearing with me thru it all, for being here and reading my words, hour after hour, day after day, and for your encouraging empathetic kind love-filled comments