Posts Tagged ‘reticent’

I’ll have to ask my students, if I’ve ever actually shouted, “stop!”  I don’t think so.  But, as I make my rounds in the studio-classroom, I do occasionally say something like, “Do you think this drawing is close to being finished?”  or  “This might be close to being finished, don’t you think?”  or “This looks close to finished, what do you think?”  I can tell you, though, that this business of deciding when it’s finished has become a running joke in my drawing class.  When I lean close to a student and voice one of these questions about, you know, is it finished, there’s likely to be a chuckle in the room and maybe somebody’s mock- gagged voice will say, “stop!”  It’s funny and it’s also taken seriously by now because everybody at some time or another has overworked a drawing.  Whether to add one more crinkle in the drapery or to put in the decorative stuff on the crockery we’ve got in the still life set up—it’s tempting, but it may bring the power of the drawing down a notch or two.

Sometimes it’s a matter of time.  The artist/student expects to slave away at a drawing, because, well, because we think if we work hard and long, the result will deserve applause.  (People who sign up for a drawing class are always overachievers.  That’s my theory, anyway, certainly in MY drawing class.)

Karen G., working from a still life set up with lots of drapery and some pots and apples, the usual stuff, looked at her drawing and thought it might be finished.  She hesitated, because she had only been working at this for about forty-five-minutes.  When in doubt, we prop the drawing up on one of the easels and look at it from a distance.  There it is.  Another stroke of the pencil would obviously destroy it.  Serene, self-assured and reticent, it’s complete.

(For the photo of the still life set up and two other student drawings done from it, see the two previous posts.)

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