The subject of artistic progression came up at life drawing on Wednesday. Someone was saying that they think it's easier to see progress in someone else's drawings than in your own. My last couple of sessions look virtually the same, with the exception of the fact that the model is different. Then, this Wednesday, even though my sketches aren't much different than before, I finally saw a little evidence of a shift I'd wanted to make. I have an internal struggle with the difference between making art and making a map of something. When I'm at my best, I'm experiencing something by looking at a deeper level and translating that into line/colour (blah, blah, I know). At my worst, I'm making a map. 'Leg? This shape, fill in with flesh tone. Next? Belly. Curves here, sticks out there, flesh tone. Next?'.. and so on. At the end of each session I always find myself looking at the drawings of some of my favorite Wednesday night artists and I think 'Wow, they don't make a map, they draw what's interesting to them. I want to do that.', And then then next time I forget until we all hang our drawings up at the end and I think 'Doh'.
Well, finally I caught myself in the middle of the first sketch/body map, and remembered! This second sketch, it was just the shadow of the nipple that was really a wow to me, and so I only put in what I felt supported that. Then I started with the dynamic between the coffee cup and her hand and worked my way out from there, not worrying about what would or wouldn't fit on my page. May not look like a big deal, but for me it was a Wednesday night breakthrough.