First semester of my freshman year at college, I decided to go crazy and take a drawing class. I'd always enjoyed drawing-- all over my notes, in sketchbooks, on scraps of paper. It seemed like a fun idea to take a class. I had no idea that this decision would suck me in. After a semester of drawing, I decided to challenge myself a little, and I took my first painting class. As a determined non-morning person, this was especially challenging because the class was at 8:40 AM, twice a week. Further, the class was called Life Painting, meaning that I would be learning how to paint from nude models.
My first class, I was entirely overwhelmed. Paint seemed really tough to control. The figure kept moving slightly. My paintings seemed to turn into indistinguishable gray blobs. Soon, however, I fell in love with painting.
The only issue was that my first semester of painting resulted in a series of pretty poorly painted nudes. While I was home, I photographed one of the most terrifying of these nudes.
I came home that summer, brimming with excitement over my new painting skills. I pulled out all of my new paintings, and my parents acted suitably impressed. A few weeks later, I noticed that all of my paintings were in my bedroom, in a pile, facing the wall.
So, what does a starving art student do with a painting like this--one that sits dejectedly facing away from the world? Reuse. I ripped off the canvas to reveal perfectly good, re-usable stretcher bars:
I will still certainly save this canvas. If anything, it is a solid reminder of just how far I've come in only a few years, but I'll also be able to take these stretcher bars back to school with me where I can stretch and gesso a new piece of canvas-- and this one will be naked-man free.