Learning to Draw

Washington DC was sweltering and loud. So hot I walked with my head hung low, lifting my eyes to see people’s stomachs, then lowering them again, as though eye contact–seeing their faces–would waste precious energy. I wasn’t interested in the statues of double-chinned white men in elaborate get-ups. What came before–Native Americans living on the land, wild animals everywhere, vast wildernesses, alleged witches, etc.–had my full attention. But here was just sidewalks and traffic, museums and monuments. I couldn’t muster enthusiasm for anything or anyone who paved the way for a more bland, buttoned-down existence. Back at the hotel, I resumed my constant habit of drawing. As if I thought I could draw my way into the world. Draw myself a world….Whichever, whatever: drawing was my ticket. At that point, I could draw just about everything but human noses. It really vexed me. I would draw faces and leave the noses out entirely….page after page of noseless faces. But this time, I decided I had nothing to lose, and started pushing my pencil back and forth in quick, reckless squiggles across a freshly-drawn face. And there it was: a nose. I repeated this action on more faces, slower and slower. Until I had it: passable noses, every time. The world was mine.

Published by msdeer

I am an interdisciplinary artist, slightly incognito here.

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