You are used to seeing quick drawings of dogs here on this blog, as they are the creatures nearest at hand, and I am comfortable drawing them. Whether lying still in their beds, or romping around the house or yard, they are just fun to doodle. People, on the other hand, are difficult to draw, at least for me. I am reminded of my failures in drawing class (so acutely brought to my attention by a haughty graduate student who may have been a decent artist but had much to learn about teaching). And so usually, I will admit to avoiding drawing people. There is so much more to the world, yes?
But yesterday a wonderful opportunity came around that I couldn’t resist. The folks at Modern Makers have been creating little sparks of magic all over town lately, bringing art out into the community, breaking down traditional silos that exist between different avenues of art. Dance and Draw was the latest of these events where the Cincinnati Ballet had a few of their dancers on hand for artists young and old to observe, draw, sketch, photograph. No fancy costumes, just some music and the beautiful, graceful lines and shapes created by the bodies of these amazing dancers.
We drew them while they warmed up and then they performed a few basic* routines for us. (*basic to them, extraordinary to us)
The event was extremely well attended by artists of all ages.
My friend and fellow sketching devotee, Christina Wald went with me and we sketched and sketched and sketched….
My nerves over drawing people soon melted away into the gesture drawings of the dancers. They weren’t holding poses, just moving. At this point, it’s the job of the artist to capture the essence of these movements. And so for a few pages in my new sketch-journal, I did just that. First with some toned paper and white crayon…
And then, onto my beloved watercolors.
I used dried paint from my palette so my lines weren’t any one color, rather a combination of the colors on hand.
After the ballet dancers finished we were treated to a lovely improvisational dance by a dancer from CCM and her musical partner who created music in response to one another. It was captivating!! She was a joy to observe and to sketch!!
I was a little sad I didn’t have my ‘good’ camera with me to take better source photos for longer drawings later, but the upside of this is that I drew more than I thought I would. And I can always mine some of the images Christina managed to capture with her camera!
Last night was just one more example of the vibrant ‘creative class’ so very much alive and well in our Queen City, who just a few years ago was criticized for it’s stodginess and lack of luster. I love what’s happening here in this town and am glad to be living here for its renaissance. Bravo to Modern Makers and to all the partnerships and collaborative groups around town working so hard to put together evenings such as Dance and Draw. I had a blast and can’t wait to do it again!