Paint Schoodic

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

The old folks flit, the young fly home

Drawing by Kamillah Ramos, an architecture student at SUNY Buffalo
I’m always a bit shocked when my former students return from college, for every year they come home with more mature features and more adult demeanor. May is the month when seasoned students flit and youngsters fly home, at least for a little while.

The water is much clearer than last month. The train still barrels right over the falls, however.
On Saturday, I had several of them with me on the Pont de Rennes bridge. It was significantly warmer than when Carol Thiel and I painted there last month, and the water is far clearer now that we’ve passed the April freshets.
Teressa drawing. (Photo courtesy of Kamillah Ramos)
If I have a theme I harp on over and over it’s the power of drawing. Drawings aren’t precious; recognizing that gives us the freedom to take chances, to screw up. The fear of failing is the most debilitating thing in the artistic process, so there’s freedom in the common #2 pencil. Drawing first allows an artist to focus on observation, making the painting phase far more fluid.

It was windy again Saturday, hence the water-bottle counterweight. (Photo courtesy of Kamillah Ramos)
So it wasn’t exactly a surprise that most of my students were drawing. All that industrial architecture was crying out for a pencil. And I was blown away by how much my college-age kids’ drawing had matured, along with their faces and their demeanor.

Bella tried watercolor for the first time.
Moved almost to tears by their growth I was—until I noticed two of them spitting over the rail. “We’re studying aerodynamics,” they explained.

OK, maybe one more year…
And Kamillah herself.
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Any resemblance between these two is completely coincidental.
PS. This was in yesterday's Democrat and Chronicle. It was our class in Highland Park two weeks ago:

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