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In Fall 2015, I volunteered to monitor Open Figure Study sessions for Art Student League of Denver, which afforded me the opportunity to see if I had learned anything from my modeling in classes at various studios & colleges, (beginning back in November 2011), having been fortunate to have worked with some really amazing teachers. On the one hand, I feel quite happy with what I managed to produce, even in the very short period (2 months), I could see my proficiency grow, and I really had learned quite a bit from my modeling for art instructors. On the other hand, the permanent upper extremity disabilities that resulted from my decades of horrible office jobs, especially the last one which destroyed my dexterity and necessitated two (failed) ulnar nerve transposition surgeries, prevents me from being able to sustain drawing or painting for extended periods. Once, it would have been lovely to have been able to pursue that kind of art, but some things are truly irreversible and it became apparent that I was struggling to persist for a basic three-hour session. This isn't to say I wouldn't be happy to have more of these opportunities. I actually wouldn't mind returning to this kind of drawing practice, as long as I could control the set-up, especially as I love to create "tableaux," including the use of lots of drapery/back-drops, as well as props, all to set the scene. It's no wonder that every window display I ever created was an installation, an art work. "Form and Function" should always go hand in hand. In monitoring these sessions, all ranges of talent, background, medium, and objective are present in the attendees, so limiting a session by having just a model on a naked stage always seems short-sighted. The Japanese Tea Ceremony has always made a lot of sense to me, melding artistry in the presentation with the actual consumption of tea. There is nothing worse then ugly malls or barren walls, although open space has its place.
Sometimes the simplest little watercolor and ink can result in producing a personal favorite.
Drawings + Sketches
Many years after making many copies of some of my favorite artists' work, such as Mucha, Klimt, Maxfield Parrish, Aubrey Beardsley, and more, I would learn that this is a method that has been used in Art Schools since the beginning of Art Schools. Years later, in rendering my own original works like "Know Thyself" and "Limitless," I found much satisfaction in seeing my "training" and preference for style come through, to the point of having others recognize my influences.
So I suppose, if you can't go to art school, copy.