Sentimental Pieces Part 1: College Figure Drawing Class

Over the years, I’ve accumulated sketches and paintings that I have never given anyone and have never photographed or gotten framed.  At times, they’ve been taped up to my walls, but mostly they’ve been carried with me in a large folder with other random posters and clippings from one apartment to another.

I decided to go though my stacks of paper and photograph the pieces I find most sentimental, and perhaps give them a proper home inside a nice frame.  A lot of stuff finally found it’s way to the trash, and I feel a bit lifted and more organized without the clutter.

These sentimental pieces can be cagorized into specific groups, so I thought it best to present each group as a separate post.

Here, I’m showing a few large, quick sketches I did during college at the University of Chicago.  The figure drawing group was open to anyone who payed a few bucks each week to pay a model to pose nude for an hour in poses that lasted between 1 and 20 minutes.  Anyone could volunteer to be a model, and I always thought it was a courageous thing for someone to do.

At first they covered themselves in a robe or towel and seemed a bit nervous to reveal themselves to strangers and have them scrutinize their bodies.  After a few poses, however, with 10 to 15 people drawing them in that room, they became part of a beautiful process in which their image was captured thoughtfully from so many different perspectives.  Each artist had his own style of seeing and capturing and interpreting the form before them, and with each successive pose, each artist adjusted into new ways of seeing, new ways of capturing what they saw.  The model would interestedly gaze at the sketches, often flattered by the artistry displayed across the tables.  It was a room without judgement.  The model didn’t have to look any certain way.  Each body was beautiful, because it was a human body.  And all the variations of the human body are interesting and present different challenges for the artist as the look of each person has a different aura about it.

Below are the pieces I’ve kept.  At this point, they date back 10 years. Wow.  Has it been that long?  Yes, these are 10 year old paintings from my college days, and they’re among the youngest of this series of sentimental pieces.

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