Figure Drawing May & June 2019

Figure Drawing in May and June was an explorative experience for some who have not seen nude models before. Having attended classes at Ricky Burnett’s for 3 years, I am pretty impervious to a naked body. However, over the last month or two, I can see a definite increase in confidence from the artists who had not drawn from life.

This figure drawing has been spiced up, as we have had the privelege of introducing Burlesque dancers into our line-up!

With the promise of collaborating further with Friends of Design and the Burlesque community, I’m looking forwards to a few more interesting projects.

I maintain that figure drawing from life is a valuable activity. There is something about getting input from your eyes rather than a camera. A camera has already interpreted the information, and as the artist you are copying from that eye. From reality to paper, you, as the artist, are given the choice as to how you would like to represent. I am interested in exploring drawing from photographs, but that’s for another blog post.

What do you think of figure drawing vs drawing from a photograph? Where do you see the value?

Our next life drawing session is happening on Saturday at 11am 29th June 2019 at Friends of Design. The event can be found here.

Models below: Wonga Lucas, Kitty Fay, Olivia, Vita Nova, Jezzy Belle

 

In the future…

Why is the apocalypse so fascinating?
-random thoughts while living

Is the idea of the apocalypse a form of some sort of biological nostalgia? We have come so far into this  ‘progressive age’ only to realise that things get worse in some areas as they ‘advance’ technologically.

Installation at Hiddingh Hall Library
Plaster of paris hanging pot plants, weeds.

‘Here there is no water but only rock.’

~T.S. Eliot

 

Advice from strangers

This morning I went running. I tried to run up Buitenkant street to my place in Deer Park. On the way I stopped, sweaty and complaining to myself, opposite a nursery school, where the security guard outside waved hello. I waved back, and he said:

“Don’t push yourself too hard.”

“I won’t!” I shouted, and carried on running up this ridiculous hill.

As I was running I contemplated… what does it mean to push oneself “too hard”? I know that I do this, but am seldom good at catching myself doing it.

A few years ago I was at the gym, and couldn’t seem to pack my bag, even though I was trying my best to pack as quickly as I could. Everything seemed to be in the wrong order, and I was slowing myself down. I said to the lady next to me:

“I can’t seem to pack my bag.”

“It’s cause you’re rushing. Slow it down. Take it one step at a time.”

BOSOM BUDDIES SWIM

I started open water swimming in 2013, when I thought that depression was a normal state of existence and crying in the shower was a daily routine. I was studying Fine Arts and we would have daily critiques from 2-5pm – which, in Cape Town’s sweltering heat, were incredibly unpleasant to endure. Don’t get me wrong – a lot of bonding was done, too, but I mean, our faces say it all.

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Picture taken by Aaron Samuel Mulenga

One day, a family friend invited me to go ‘play in the waves’ at Camps Bay, where she would meet up with a friend who would actually swim out, past the waves, to the back of Camps Bay… and across, and then back. Later on I found out this was called the Sunday Hot Chocolate Swimming group – come join us!

“Why don’t you come join us next weekend?” She suggested.

Having the philosophy of trying anything once – I agreed.

With the help of Ann I became more comfortable in the ocean and for about 2 years I religiously swam 3 times a week… getting fitter and more confident in the ocean.

Swimming in the ocean is addictive. It is like going on a high – that first shock of walking into the water… sometimes one can’t even breathe, and it feels like a panic attack is coming on.

With the encouragement from one’s peers, for me it was Daniel, Brian, and sometimes Arafat, I would keep swimming, moving my limbs despite the cold, the shock, and the tension.

If this puts you off – imagine – eventually, when you and your body realise there is no escape from the pain, and the numbness, you are forced to let go of it, relax. For me – at that time – it was a physical manifestation of what I needed to do with my depression, a metaphorical proof of my strength… and empowering to feel like I alone was the one pushing myself forwards, with people swimming alongside me to safeguard that nothing dire could happen.

2 years ago I attempted to swim a 3.2 km in Langebaan and got badly stung by jellyfish – and I think that experience, along with the daily demands of life, prompted a pause in the exercise.

So, 4 years after I started swimming, I come back to Clifton, for the “Bosom Buddies” swim – many ladies gathered to shed their shirts and do a topless swim in order to raise funds for breast cancer. The event was documented, but only for those who took part. There are some beautiful, and private methods with which we aim to pay tribute to those we love, who we’ve lost to this disease. What struck me, above all else, was the safety everyone felt, the enthusiasm, and the strength from and love for all these women.

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Once, in finesse of fiddles, found I ecstasy in the flash of gold heels on the hard pavement. Now see I that warmth’s the very stuff of poesy. Oh God, make small the old, star-eaten blanket of the sky – so I may fold it round me and in comfort lie.

The Embankment

T.E. Hulme