I was late for class again…. typical…. And on a test day too.
I never could get it together in art school. I was always a mess, emotionally, physically. That day I arrived 30 minutes late, sleep boogers still in my eyes, and as I scanned the large room, I discovered the only spot left. On the floor, slightly behind the model, and squeezed so close I could grab her feet. It was our final grade and we had to draw her. We had two hours.
I pulled out a tiny sheet of paper, probably around four by eight inches, then opened my red tackle box, loaded with pencils, erasers, charcoal. For maximum color saturation, I settled on oil pastels. Everybody else was working much larger, and probably using charcoal, but I didn’t care.
to hammer out this highly design-oriented, abstract drawing that only caught the essence of Ava, a small narrow slice of her profile peeking from waves of thick, black hair. My work portrayed no subtleties of light or shadow; simply bold triangles of abstract highlights and shading. No nuance of the wisps of her hair, only bold choppy waves, so close up that no background could be found. And yep, I made her blue. It seemed quite the good fit for the young model.
30 minutes and tiny drawing done. I submit my portrait to my art teacher and wave goodbye an hour before test time expired. “Enough said,” I thought. “I’ll probably get an ‘F’.”
The following week the teacher handed our tests back and, biting my lip with anxiety about my test performance, I tentatively flip the tiny drawing over and search for the grade. …….. I earned an “A”.
This drawing was brought forth from some deep space of inspiration through my fingertips, almost as if Universe had channeled Ava through me. I fell so deeply in love with Ava’s image that I painted her much larger on glass. To this day, 26 years later, she still hangs on my wall and makes me smile.
Check out my other portraits https://artunabated.com/tag/portrait/