One of the very best parts of teaching in a workshop format that is open to the community is that inevitably a spectacular blend of ages, sexes, experiences levels and artistic interests come together – and work together – with a combined goal that levels the playing field for everyone involved. Suddenly the 19 year old fashion student can have conversations about his work with the 75 year old quilter who has been sewing for decades – or the veteran welder can share her insights with the novice printmaker eager to learn a new skill. In the end, each process and point of view has something to offer the other. And in the end, we can all share and learn in a meaningful way that truly reaches beyond the typical limitations of the classroom.
With this open, thoughtful sharing as our mantra for the workshop, my mind continually returns to the great pleasure of having Jon Aesoph in our February workshop. Jon’s work has made it to my blog in the past – and I remain a great fan of his talented hands and active mind that offers kind and thoughtful feedback that is alive and keeps conversations awake!
As we gathered around drawings and ideas in the workshop, it was Jon (whose background as a teacher leaves him especially at home in the classroom) that so openly shared how he approached figure drawing and working from a live model.
“Working with a model is truly an intimate, and sacred, undertaking. Especially with a model who works as hard as many do, sharing their energy and enthusiasm for the task at hand. It becomes, for me, a form of lovemaking between the model and the artist, and the result on paper is as much theirs as mine. We all know, in this culture, that taking off your clothes is a BIG DEAL, so when a model agrees, it is a BIG DEAL for me. The models are exposing themselves, and so is the person drawing, except with their clothes on. I am very concerned with pleasing the model as a way of thanks for their hard work”
Some drawings created by Jon’s hands and mind working together – guided by love.
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