Soon enough, wine was poured, though, and music began. I began to relax and joke with the artists. We worked through a few short gestures, then longer poses began. First ten minutes, then twenty, finally culminating in a forty minute posture with a break at twenty minutes.
Drawing for me is not fun. It’s highly frustrating. I’ve never pretended to know how to draw well. My art is almost always abstract when it isn’t photography. Yet, I’ve never been the subject of art before, and it was a little unnerving.
I was sitting for a group of private individuals at the studio of a local artist in town. After the session, talking to the artist, I learned that many artists express interest in live drawing, but figuring out a way to get them together is like herding cats. The person charged with organizing the event often becomes frustrated and fed up with the hassle, and the groups dissolve.
Since that first experience, I’ve modeled at the Missoula Art Museum‘s live drawing classes. The turnout is about the same, and the space is much colder. But there was no wine, and no music. The pay was less, and the mood wasn’t as welcoming — for me, or for the artists. I’m not sure what the status is for drawing classes at the MAM, as they haven’t listed anything on their website.
After the MAM, I sat for a small group at The Ceretana. They were a riot. Talking and joking while they drew, listening to music and engaging me in conversation. Ultimately, that group also dissolved for similar reasons to the ones I had mentioned previously.
Recently, the Zootown Arts Community Center has begun offering life drawing classes. Attendance has so far been spotty, with one person besides the host attending on one occasion, and no one attending on another. It’s just getting rolling, though, and it’s a good opportunity for artists in the community to draw in a warm well lit and welcoming space. The ZACC is looking to make their drawing classes collaborative such that artists may bring a piece that they have been working on and have the model work within the available space to help them complete or expand their piece. Models will pose alone and with creative still lifes arranged by the host. The ZACC is still trying to figure out what the best day to hold the event is, and have temporarily settled on Mondays.
Friday, I learned about another exciting new life drawing opportunity for Missoula artists. It’s being held at The Union Club and promises to be unlike any drawing class Missoula has seen. Dr. Sketchy’s comes to Missoula. From the site: We host monthly life drawing classes unlike any you’ve been to before. We have high standards for our sessions. We get great models, great costumes, and dynamic lighting as we commandeer a bar for an evening and get our sketch on. It’s like art class, but without the class where models, artists, drinking and drawing collide in the perfect storm of creativity, skill, beauty, debauchery, and sketchy madness! I’m not sure I’m up to the task on this one. We’ll see how it works out. I’m willing to give it a try. I do own a couple of pairs of leather pants….
ZACC Life Drawing Group: Mondays 6PM – 8PM — suggested donation $4-$9
More info on Dr. Sketchy as I have it.
Stay tuned this week for more news on The Leaving and the Left project.
Drawings featured in this post by Barb Schwartz Karst