Tuesday, February 14, 2012

As nothing has been written

As nothing has been written here in quite a while, I thought it might be nice to summarize the progress of the center over the past months, for the shareholders, as it were.

The organization has grown moderately and when the ups and downs are smoothed out, consistently. My heart is warmed to see that what I hoped would happen is happening- a dedicated group of smart people are making a community out of the fabric of the BFAC. People who did not know of one another now do, people who thought the landscape for figure work in Boston was a lonely and barren one now feel differently, and a camaraderie is forming though the practice of drawing and painting and drinking and talking and being together, and knowing that we'll see each other again.

Meetup.com has been a godsend- a great funnel for gathering people who want to find something like what we're doing, and a way to extend the community experience during the days between physical meetings. Seeing what each of us chooses to upload for images, and having feedback on those efforts, is really rewarding and nourishing.

We took a big risk, after cutting way back after our summer hiatus to only our Monday night drawing session; we're back up to four sessions per week- now thankfully hosted by members other than me. Much appreciation for their work is due, they are really embodying the spirit of service in the pursuit of community. And George Ratkevich's work keeping up and remodelling our website is something I'm really grateful for.

I have been offering some "classes," which I had not intended to do but suddenly felt like doing, and those have been encouraging experiences. First, figure drawing from imagination, in which I try to explain the concepts that help me to think about the body when I draw. Those concepts came out of many experiences- Paul Rahilly's early streamlining of my drawing, my own anatomy study, particularly my attempts to simplify the connections and complexities of anatomy when preparing to teach it at B.U in 2003. The videotaped lectures by Robert Beverly Hale that B.U. had copies of in its nice little art library were so very helpful in this regard. Serious and comedic both inadvertently and intentionally, they were great fun to watch for someone like me, an enjoyer of the spectacle of nerdy and self-consciously elitist expertise presented by the double-breasted, pin-striped Brahmin figure of R. B.

Linen stretching workshop followed by a still life class, now extended by popular demand, and soon maybe a figure painting workshop or string of classes, requested by the folks last week. Nice to feel that what I do is valuable to someone.

So onward we go, not knowing if enough interest in the endeavor will last, and understanding that every one of us has twenty things that we probably ought to be doing other than this, and yet we choose this. No, I take it back- I really think someone ought to be doing this, and that someone is probably us and whoever cares to join us.

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