As I walked to class, the rain was spitting. I straddled the line between wet and dry. Exposure and protection. My drawings were safely stacked inside an over-sized plastic bag, closed off with alligator clips. I walked quickly and they flopped about with my movement.
The studio was quiet and filled only by dim, natural light. Peaceful, only when the sawing outside ceased. That was rare. Easels shoved off to one side, facing every which way. Potential chaos is still. They could be in conversation with each other. They are on the brink of movement; some to be claimed by a student for the next three hours. If ever there is a place where I am still, it is here. Drawing: light, delicate, romantic.
Self portraits enclose the space. Faces are everywhere, except for one wall. There is a series of legs. 14 young women stand in the center, taking it all in. "I think we should start with that one," chimes in a voice. That one being mine - the legs. I can feel my heart start to beat faster. I never feel so emotional vulnerable as I do when I put my art work - a piece of me - on display. And since they are self portraits I am overcome, to shy to speak. But I do. And so does everyone else.
Eyes peer over and around easels, focusing on a still life. A group meditation of sorts. (What happens when it's over?) A deep breath, a line. A glance to the side, a new shape. Coming to life on a thick sheet of paper, a cliche still life of a bowl of fruit and some books. I am sitting to the right of it. The colours of my collage jump at me. I don't want to draw over them. Suppressing them behind ink and charcoal. Here I sit, truly inside my own mind, straddling the easel.