Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dark Horizons

Quite a few people asked me, slightly worried, about the state of affairs at New Horizons Tower. The student facilities have been torn down, while the students are still paying for it, whoever dares to complain is told to leave, and the remaining students will be forced out this month.

An interesting development was that I have been offered a larger appartment in the tower, for the same price. On my reply that they cannot buy me, management responded by offering me $750 and, really, I only have to accept it, and they do not want anything in return. They discovered they cannot intimidate me, so they are trying to catch me with honey.

I decided to report the whole issue to the Board of the Dovercourt Baptist Foundation, which happens to reside at, you guessed it, New Horizons Tower. I sent a more or less formal letter, through registered mail, as a probe to test the waters. I was not really surprised to learn that my letter had been intercepted by management, and they refuse to pass it upward. A second attempt through the pastor of the church failed in a similar way.

As Shakespeare wrote: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." A good deal of the organization here seems to be rotten to the bone. I have sent out some more probes, and activated some contacts here and, also, there. I love puzzles. Really.

Friday, April 6, 2012

My Ass

In my first week at Max the Mutt, I was caught by one of the security guards in the mall around the corner: he wanted to see what I was doing. At that moment, I was still sneaking around, trying to sketch people without being noticed myself, which is exactly the behaviour which triggers the alarm bells of those responsible for public security. We had a nice chat about school and life in general, and I somewhat reluctantly showed him my sketchbook, which was at that point filled with 'blind contours' and very rough 'gestures', exercises which are more about the drawing process than about anything else. He tried to say something nice, but his blank stare suggested he was thinking something else.

It became a habit over the past three and a half years. I returned almost every day to try to catch human nature in all its beauty, peculiarity, ugliness, flirtyness, playfulness, whateverness. For almost two years, it was strictly technical for me, and I did my sketching as the bodybuilder pressed his kilogrammes, the pianoplayer plays his scales and the athlete runs his circles, for the sole purpose of getting better at it. And only after two years did I get some satisfaction out of it, finding pleasure in the occasional nice drawing.

I have started to wrap it all up. I am building my final portfolio, and there will be pages from my sketchbook in it. When I took some time scanning them, I realized I do not really care which ones to put in: they are not all good, but there are so many of them that I do like. A quick estimate suggests I have been doing about 20 quick studies a day for more than two years, for a grand total of more than 14000 quick studies.

Today I spent some time in a coffee shop around the corner, sketching my coffee away. A lady spent some time watching me, bent over and said: "You're good, you're really talented" I had just completed sketch number 14001. Talented, my ass...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Levator scapulae

It happened more than a year ago, during a life drawing session. The female model was wearing a robe, which fell open when she bent forward in my direction, granting me a clear view of her anatomy. The teacher was standing right behind me, and whispered over my shoulder: "Lucky you, from this angle you can see her levator scapulae really well!" I had to look that one up, it is a muscle which, as its name suggests, is used for raising the shoulder blade. Ah, that is the pleasure of an anatomically inclined teacher.