Practicing the "Humble Approach" & Thursdays

Whenever it is possible I attend the local drawing group with a live model. There are three groups in the area. For over a year now I’ve consecutively gone to the Thursday night figure drawing session. On & off. There has been word that a famous local/internationally known artist also attends frequently whose name is Sherrie McGraw. About 3-4 months of popping up occasionally I ran into her….Well sort of.  

I didn’t interact with her at first sight. I kinda ignored her. Pretended she wasn’t there because I was so shy and nervous. I didn’t know what to say. Or have anything worth saying. That first evening she was there I could not draw and it looked terrible and I severely hope she wouldn’t see that my observations skills were low and my drawing looked like nothing like the model. 

I don't hero worship but is one I would consider. I dubbed her as one of the 
“Art Goddesses that walked the Earth.”  

 Painting done last Saturday. Haven't done an alla prima in months.

One evening I was talking to some of the artists and told them I picked the most difficult pose and position. An extreme foreshortened pose from hell that could have looked like a human being if you saw from what angle. It came out as a mess any my eyes and hands were not cooperating with each other. I was sitting on the horse and talking with exaggerated hand gestures she came up from behind me curious of the conversation. Maybe she wanted to see my drawing maybe? I already flipped my sketch over so nobody could see it anyways. I had an excuse to talk to McGraw naturally but I didn't.
I froze. Sat still like waiting for a bee to buzz off. Shes not annoying or anything. Just that tension of waiting for it to be over.  I am super shy and tend to not interact with people until I get used to them. I've been told by some it is mistaken as being stuck up. 

Weeks and what then turned into months I realized that I could have possibly closed maybe slammed the window of opportunity of introducing myself as a decent person. It was finally November and I first saw her at March.

Then I realized that probably from her point of view she could have thought I was weird or plain stuck up. I’ve been accused of being stuck up when I don’t make instant conversation or simply refuse to small talk. Maybe the vibe I’m unintentionally sending out is that I’m a big jerk? The situation was over analyzed and no progress was ever made. The more I thought about it the worse it became. The anxiety and impending looming silence I had to do something. 

The painting started out nicely and then it became
 a prolonged exercise in agony. Was a good color mixing practice.

 An example of Sherrie McGraw's work. 
I've been fortunate enough to see this live at the gallery when I was younger.

I was waiting for the perfect chance the perfect moment. Well it didn’t come. It was a flawed accidental moment.  On a Thursday night a month ago. I came a little late and there was limited seating. And it was near her. During the first model break when I was shimmying and maneuvering around the benches and strewn art supplies that I caught eye contact and looked at her drawing and we instantly connected. I went over to her easel. Starting talking. We introduced ourselves. 

Nervously I revealed I knew who Sherrie was and blatantly said I was a huge “FAN.” That I first came across her work in high school. It was an example from my Academy of Art University figure drawing class from the pre-college program.  

After saying FAN I don’t know how many times I told Sherrie I had her book The Language of Drawing. It is a beautiful book with astounding drawings. The print quality is superb. The written aspects are interesting which in many art books they are not. They delve more into the psyche of what an artist thinks as they are constructing an image.

Anyways she offered and told me to bring my book in and she would sign it and if I have any questions just ask. I’m not used to asking for things.
What was interesting the day that I decided to talk to Sherrie was the day I had coffee spilt all over my light beige pants! Driving on the highway with a mug like a G with no lid is well not cool. I can normally drive around with a regular mug of coffee and not spill it but of course it had to be that day when you have to brake unexpectedly. 

When I told my friend this story they cracked, “You went for the humble approach didn’t you?” Its more like what more can I be embarrassed of when I already embarrassed myself? Hmm at least the spill was just on my leg and not any more vital critical area. It could have been worse. Maybe next time in life when I’m nervous about meeting someone I’ll take the humble approach. Embarrass myself to the maximum that I cannot possibly get any more nervous. You never know.

Maybe since I maintained eye contact she didn’t see my pants. Because when I talked to her she smiles and has that twinkle in her eyes. That enthusiasm and art spirit of teaching radiating.

Somehow the memory of a summer early fall afternoon in high school I joked with a friend that I would take my 2x3 portfolio and somehow climb a fence just to show Sherrie my work. Maybe to get some guidance that I could possibly meet her if I could. And viola! Life has a way of upholding forgotten promises.

This last Saturday had another encounter with another fascinating artist. I’ll save that for next time.

It is strange I have come to terms that some of my dreams are happening in the reverse order than I imagined.

For sure I have come to terms that I cannot predict or determine the plot of my life but I can for sure help write some of the verses. But not in correct order. 

Some tracks I've been listening to. About 80% of the time when I draw I listen to music.
 Haven't stumbled on anything awesomely amazing lately nor nobody I know has shared anything cool.


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