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April 1, 2012 vol 8 no 1

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Carol Pearce-Worthington

The Drawing

To celebrate its reopening, the institute offers a free sketch class which lasts for an hour. A woman nearby scribbles page after page. A man painstakingly draws invisibly while two friends laugh over their attempts. Squinting the way artists do, I am determined to show what I can do. I capture her hair, dress, pose, arms, smile, eyes, ears, tilt of the head, fingernails until a bell signals the end of class and everyone crowds around the teacher who in one hour has sketched the model's left eye. I on the other hand have produced two complete sketches, lots of hair, tilt, smile, fingernails, the works. When I flash my drawings; the teacher blinks as if having a bad dream and repeats that we must always measure everything. Quickly I roll up my pages which at once unroll themselves. I reroll them; they unroll again. I stick them into my tote bag as I march down the marble staircase under chandeliers. A drawing course here costs $800. And I would have to measure everything, including my wallet. In the ladies' room I again wrestle unsuccessfully with my drawings then give up and race for home where I stick them under my desk, subdued at last with a stout rubber band.

autumn day
by an unearned breeze