Seven Days of Buildings and Bodies

For the last four days, we have been in Florence. It was there that I discovered humans. My drawings had, until then, been focused on buildings. I had considered the idea of drawing the human figure to be too difficult for me to try. However, in the Uffizi gallery, there are almost as many sculptures as there are paintings. And in response to our professor’s resounding decree (draw, draw, draw!) I tried my hand at a couple sculptures.

I loved it.

It surprised me how straightforward it was. I had previously seen the human body as complex masses that are undoable, and never understood how a person could get proportions and ratios correct. Granted, my ratios and proportions could use some work, but there is something so natural to drawing the simple masses that determine the human form.

The human form is so beautiful. I had always wondered why sculptors had such an obsession with the human body (why do you never see sculptures of trees, or foxes, or furniture?), but now I understand why. Each form of muscle under skin and its relationships to each other part of the body is simply elegant.

A week and a half ago, I had next to no drawing experience. I knew myself to be bad at it. I knew this not in a self-depreciating way, but objectively. It was something I had accepted; I had tried, and failed, and that was it. I had received my bad grades in classes for the bad drawings I had worked hard on.

This is why these last ten days have been so shocking for me. Of these ten, seven stuffed to the brim with drawing. In only seven days, I have seen a change in my drawing that I believed for years to be impossible. This program is about learning, about experiencing things and places that we never have before. If that’s the case, this program has given me an opportunity to explore an entirely new medium.

In the last week I have seen structures that were mere myths to me. I have tasted foods that I didn’t know existed, or could exist. I have found good friends in wonderful people I had never met before. In the last week, I have discovered abilities in my mind and hands that I was convinced, that I had been told by professors could not exist.

What will this next week hold for us?

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