Saturday, October 8, 2011

Life Drawing

So I moved to New York City a few months ago. This is not immediately related to the image posted above, but I think it's going to meander back to relevance in a little while:

I moved here for a new job and to live with my sweet, handsome nerdy boyfriend Michael who is a cinematographer which means he can basically either live here in NYC or Los Angeles. Having just spent four years in Savannah, Georgia, the most magically, confusingly beautiful city in the whole world, it came as a bit of a shock to see piles of garbage ten feet high on all the street corners, brave and savage rat colonies and people urinating in subway stations.

I was elaborately unhappy. And it took about two months of probably unhealthily vivid daydreams of living in a squat little cottage all alone in a flowery, lush, rat-free meadow with not a single Starbucks in sight and multiple instances in the subway where I nearly witnessed small toddlers being lifted away by the King of Rats, I began to figure the whole city thing out:

Sure, New York City is a vile, festering cesspool of neverending filth and constant unwelcome full-body contact with unwashed strangers on any given street corner or bus or subway train or burrito restaurant, but you never ever have to be bored. There's always something to do, and millions of really cool people to do things with! This alone has more or less won me over and I think I'm about a third of the way to earning myself a metaphorical I <3 NY tshirt.

There's stuff to do all the time. Instead of having to drive for 25 minutes to Pankake Palace to eat greasy ham biscuits after everything in downtown Savannah closed at 5 PM, I can walk out my front door, blindfolded and hobbled, turn 45 degrees in any direction and literally run face first into a dining establishment of some kind. And in this city there's a fair chance that they'd be totally into the blindfold and hobbles.

But other than food, one of my favorite things in the whole world is my life drawing sessions every Thursday. Life drawing was a total punishment for me through most of college (breathing charcoal dust in a hot, cramped room drawing a dimply model who makes occasional, uncomfortably long eye contact) but this one is swank, man. It's at a fine establishment called the Society of Illustrators which is bedecked with Leyendeckers and Rockwells and a well-equipped wet bar.

Aside from the crippling inferiority complex which rears its head every time I look at the gorgeous paintings hung on the walls, it's a really nice way to relax. There's always some kind of live band and the models wear cool costumes and they don't even carry toy swords or get half-boners while gazing smolderingly at the misplaced fashion student in the front row!

So anyway, I feel like I've made progress in my sketches, but my favorite ones always come from when I get bored with the real models and start drawing random people in the crowd. This is one of those, onto which I attempted to paint some skin. I will probably get around to scanning some of the real sketches one day, but have not yet due to laziness.

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