Drawing with the news on my mind

I was with my friends and colleagues of Studio 1482 the other day. We get together to draw the model every once in a while.  Drawing from the model is such a way to stretch your legs and explore and experiment. And if you have music and good people around you , even better!

Here are a few drawings of the lovely Marilyn. I couldn’t help focusing in on her steady eyes and her strong feminine body. She’s great.

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While drawing, I couldn’t help thinking about all the news from our African American communities. We are living through a very important time, and it was on my mind. Here, I focused on getting her strong but soft expression.

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Every time she changed poses, I had another narrative on my mind. You can guess at what this one was.

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It was hard to not think of it for me. Especially in terms of how some people see our differences as scary and some see the beauty in them. And also how our differences are on the outside, not on the inside.

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But every time she posed with her hands clasped behind her back I was compelled to think of handcuffs and shackles and oppression. With this drawing below, I was really tempted to draw the cuffs. But my mind went to a more positive place. I drew her head with an exaggerated twist to the right– the future, while her body was facing the left– the past. The sun isn’t setting, it’s rising. Her hands are not tied, they are clasped in prayer and patience. Her strong fearless facial features have traces of African carved sculptures I’ve seen in museums.

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And for a break from the looping news reels in my head…Here’s a little late 50’s early 60’s fashion fantasy. She was wearing a pill box hat and I thought of a dress to go with it. Of course it had to be a sweetheart neckline with polka dots. Did the Shirelles wear pill box hats? the Supremes? I know their hair looked like that 😉

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And here the prop was a hand-held fan. It’s amazing how the attitude changed with a simple change of a prop. Or did I project this attitude on her? Either way…

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Great way to spend the hours. Until next time…

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