Yesterday, as I scrambled around trying to find some good quality drawing paper for a project I was midway thorough, I stumbled across long forgotten drawings and paintings. They were neatly tucked away precisely where I had stored them a while back. I pulled them out, one by one, and to my surprise, time and distance has somehow made them better.
I had painted them two summers ago at a class I took at Mass College of Art. It reviewed the technique of layering drawing and painting to achieve a hybrid image that was neither drawing nor painting, but something in between. I recalled the professor, Patrick, a sandy haired older gentleman that never sat down, walking energetically from easel to easel passionately talking about how the line and the paint work together to build the drawing. He would pick up one of my pencils and show me how it was done, but in a way that never made me feel inadequate or that I was doing it wrong. The nude model stood silently, lit by the sun as our eyes and minds learned the line of her figure and the tone of her skin.
It was an electrifying week! For five days, 8 hours a day we drew and we painted, and we listened to Patrick knowing that if we were distracted only for a moment we would miss it.
Yesterday, when I pulled out those drawings, it all came back to me. I remembered the way it felt to just draw all day and think of nothing else, to be immersed in line and color for so long that when I went to sleep that night I sill saw the image imprinted in my mind.
I also don't remember thinking my drawings has turned out great. But, yesterday as I scanned them with my eyes and my memory I felt differently. Regardless of their technical merit, they are so honest and free. I see them now and know they are exactly what they should be.