What is this Life if full of care?

watercolour life drawing by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

It probably sounds strange, a group of people standing around a naked figure – charcoal, pencil, pastels, paints – for twenty-five minutes at a time, no one speaks, everyone concentrates on their drawing, staring at the figure and making marks on their pages, struggling to capture the scene before them in two dimensions…

Dimensions – yes, it feels a bit like we’ve travelled into another dimension – we can hear the traffic outside, maybe a siren in the distance, a seagull squalling perhaps, someone drops a pencil, someone coughs, but no one speaks, no one even thinks – it is quite a meditative state, I suppose.

life drawing RHA by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

Yes, it is like meditation – if meditation is a practice where an individual focuses the mind on a particular “object” and strives to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally stable state.

Ah well, enough of the guff, it’s simply a drawing exercise and it trains the eye to see and the hand to draw. The more we do, the better we get at it but it’s a slow process, it takes time and patience.

life drawing RHA by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

But yes, it’s good to be back in the RHA, doing the life-drawing sessions. It’s good to see the drawings by the other artists and nice to chat during the breaks. And if you were wondering – yes, we talk to the models too. They are often actors or dancers, very good at holding perfectly still. They pick a spot on the wall and fix their eye on it, or so they tell me…

What is this life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare… 

That’s from the poem “Leisure”, by William Henry Davies (1871-1940) who was known as ‘the poet of tramps’. He was born in Wales but emigrated to America and lived the life of a vagabond before eventually returning to England where he published his first book of poetry entitled: A Soul’s Destroyer.

Funny what thoughts and bits of information drop by when you’re in the Life Room. Here’s me bus.

http://www.rhagallery.ie/school/

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

 

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