Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Drawing Class and the Contemporary

I know I said today was going to be about ACA and Planned Parenthood, but after last night's post I was just to blue to contemplate it again this morning. Instead, my first class at The Contemporary Austin Art School! This is the most beautiful campus I have ever seen. It is on 12 acres tucked away at the end of a road, down by the river in near-north Austin. There are peacocks roaming the campus--including inside the ceramics kiln room, and lots of enormous live oaks shading the grounds. The live oaks weave through palm trees and bamboo and cast a shade surely welcome as the weather warms up. It was raining today when I arrived a little early for my class, but the rain didn't stop me from walking around and taking pictures.

My class was wonderful--I made a new friend and I really like the instructor--she even has a YouTube page. Best of all, I feel like I might actually learn to draw! Completely unexpectedly, my posture was naturally perfect, I breathed just fine (the teacher exhorted us to breathe a lot), and I serenely let the drawings flow for all three techniques we learned today: gesture drawing, scribbled gesture drawing, and blind contour drawing. Each one was a little better than the one before it. (Until we got to blind contour drawing where you don't look at the paper while you're drawing. At all. Those were... interesting. I think the sheep below was my best.

Our instructor said she has no expectation of us having any time to practice during the week, but she said we would improve much faster if we do. She said if we do opt to work outside class, she would recommend three drawings, one in each of the techniques we learned, for five minutes apiece each day. I'm going to give it a shot this week to see how it goes. Let's see, spin 15 minutes a day, practice piano 20 minutes a day, blog (about 45 min) daily, knit daily as much as possible, take pictures every day and post one to the 365 Project, and draw 15 minutes a day. And all of that is before doing any glass! My life truly has become a creative endeavor (internal little happy dance).

When I got home from class I was so energized and inspired by my experience at the school that I did one more check of their online course catalog to see if there was a pottery class I could get into. Lo and behold, there is a class starting in March on Thursday mornings that has space. (Most of their classes are filled with waiting lists. There was a one-day Watercolor class That I was interested in that had ten students signed up, and another 35 on the waiting list!) The ceramics class is wheel throwing--both beginning and intermediate--and it will start up right about when we finish our sweaters in the KAL (my Thursday afternoon knit along which begins this week). Too bad the the Contemporary doesn't offer silversmithing. However I did find one place in Austin that does, Creative Side Jewelry Academy of Austin, and I may take a class with them later this spring or next fall--two classes a week is my absolute stretched out max (not including my half-hour piano class Wednesday mornings).

I should do an ikebana or two tonight, but I'm going to wait till tomorrow morning when I'm fresh. So I'll post a few more pics from the class, the campus, the art on the grounds, and the peacocks, and then to bed!


Joy Rosner said...

Dear Brenda, I am so enjoying your blog and hearing about life in Austin! All is well here. I'm still weaving and singing in several choirs. Joy

Bill said...

Bravo on your good luck!