Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Calm and Strong

1/26/15 Diamine Chocolate Brown and Sargasso
Sea inks, Canson XL 140 lb. paper
Yesterday I was given a unique opportunity: My yoga instructor, Fran Gallo, invited me to sketch during one of her classes. When I’m taking Fran’s class myself, I have often thought that sketching the other students would be an interesting life drawing exercise, so I was thrilled when Fran suggested it.

It seemed like the short-pose life drawing sessions I attend at Gage would have been good training for sketching at yoga, and they were – to some extent. But the shortest pose the models hold at life drawing is one minute. In Fran’s class, the students hold some strenuous, challenging poses for a lot less than a minute – perhaps 30 seconds or less. Yesterday’s class gave me a workout in speed sketching! I thought it might help that I practice yoga myself: If I had to visually memorize a pose to finish drawing it, my own body’s memory of the pose should remind me. That’s a good theory, but in reality, it was no less challenging than if I didn’t practice yoga!

In the past, I’ve used yoga as a metaphor for drawing. I’ll do it again: As I filled 13 pages in my sketchbook during the 75-minute class, I needed the first few pages to warm up and find my flow. Eventually I did, and the sketches came more fluidly, just as the poses seemed to flow more easily for the students. After a while, I got tired, and the sketches weren’t as good, but in exchange I had gained a different kind of energy that comes from close observation and recording what I observe. During the final shavasana, I rested along with the students, feeling calm and strong.

Thank you, Fran, for a different type of yoga experience!

1/26/15 Diamine Chocolate Brown and Sargasso Sea inks

1/26/15 Winsor Newton watercolor marker, Diamine Sargasso Sea ink

1/26/15 Diamine Sargasso Sea ink

1/26/15 Diamine Sargasso Sea ink

1/26/15 Diamine Sargasso Sea ink

1 comment:

  1. I think you did a good job catching the short poses. I always wanted to try sketching at a dance class or a karate class. I know the NYC Urban Sketchers did go to a tango performance/class one night.


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