Friday, March 19, 2010
This picture is from last Saturday's Dr Sketchy class. My lovely model is 'Shanghai Rose', a new graduate from the Glitterbomb Burlesque School. I did this chalk drawing in 20 minutes. I was there for three hours and produced 3 or 4 drawings I liked out of about 20. Thats pretty good odds. This is the way it goes with life drawing; you start with 1 or 2 minute gestural drawings to warm up and work your way up to longer studies, some of which go well and some of which are destined for the bottom of the cat litter tray. I'm not at all attached to those and only semi attached to the good ones. They are after all just practice. I've been life drawing for 33 years (if you don't count the attempts before art school) and am absolutely comfortable with the process of making marks and discarding them until the work is more suitable for public scrutiny.
I am a seasoned artist. I can throw my work away.
But with writing... I horde every damned word. This is because I am still an apprentice (as much as I'd like to think that 3 published novels in, I am not).
I am currently in the depths of rewriting a bit of chick lit that I once put up on this blog. I took it down last year because, well, actually...I quite like it and want to get it looking a whole lot better before it goes public again. It's been interesting working on it. I've had to chop bits out and get rid of adverbs, backstory and connect with my main character again. She and I were apart for a long time and it takes a while to get comfortable with each other again, much like when you go on holiday without your partner. I was cross with her when I came back to find she hadn't done anything- not even emptied the dishwasher; instead she'd got even more miserable and unlikeable. Then I realised it was just me! So I've shaken myself up (with the help of Fleur Beale and Maureen Crisp) and I'm beginning to see the good marks on the page and gain some confidence with the ones that will make it better.
It doesn't pay to stay away from your writing in the same way that letting your drawing lapse is not useful. Both need a workout on a regular basis if you want to get any mastery.
Now if I could only apply that to my physical fitness program...perhaps a course in burlesque?