There is a tub in my wardrobe, perched up so high I need to get a ladder or a chair to reach it. I had not touched it we moved house three years ago and the contents had remained untouched for nearly 10 years until last Wednesday. Inside the tub is a promise I made to myself- that one day I would return to an enjoyable and satisfying pastime- drawing.
I put it away not long after I started work at the State Library, about 10 years ago. I had been doing drawing and painting classes at a local neighbourhood house in Melbourne, and just did it for the sheer enjoyment (it was a wonderful way to lose yourself in the creative moment, not to mention getting your hands dirty :). The need to focus on a new job, not to mention planning my wedding, meant that other things took a back seat. After that, we bought a house, moved to Ballarat, had children, I did another degree…I guess time got away from me.
So when the opportunity came up to do a life-drawing class at the Big House, I jumped on it. There are classes at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, but there is a bit of a waiting list. Pretty much the only drawing I have done in that time has been with the kids.
My fingers felt a bit rusty when I started, but I was surprised by how much I had retained from my initial classes- the need to look, to see shapes and negative spaces. It was fun to get lost in the drawing and focus on the curves and the shapes in front of me.
We were using charcoal, which is a fun medium. My preference is for pencil, mainly because you can get a bit more detail. Regardless of the medium, my fingers are always black afterwards from the rubbing and the shading!
I am so glad I never got rid of my art stuff in one of my throwaway frenzies :).