Friday, January 8, 2010

Where it Began...

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.


  1. Hey, now, as your official mom, we also hung several of your paintings about our home :-). Just not the nude ones :-). I love looking at them every time I come through those rooms, and many, many, many people visiting have asked me about them, admiringly.... Even that one that you now tell me you wish I wouldn't have hanging up :-).

    Btw, back in my own college days, when I was transitioning from being an art student into something else, but still kept painting in my apartment, one of my last paintings that I loved doing was of the next door building, seen out my 3rd floor window.... Actually the painting was of just the *window* of the next door home, with light coming out... maybe a cat on the sill. It's up in the attic I think-- possibly....

    Your mom...

  2. Sounds great! I'd love to see that some time...

  3. hehe... at least it's better than my whole nude family portrait that I did when I was like three... which used to be hanging above our piano