Monday, September 13, 2010

Morrow's Miracle Method

I got to "life drawing" class today and sat on a stool waiting for something to happen. The week before we had done "gesture" drawings from a model -- quick or long sketches or "studies" done in pastel of a live model -- and I'm afraid I'm not very experienced or good at doing them. In fact, while we do these in class I feel anything but competent and in fact -- very much like a journalism major in a room full of art majors.

My professor, Terry Morrow, also has us do homework assignments that should eventually help us accomplish gestures better. Last week, we turned in our homework -- a drawing of a ribcage in graphite.

Morrow walked in today and asked me a question -- it went something like this (keep in mind his white hair, glasses perched at the end of his nose, and artists hands that wave around in the air):

T: I think your drawing was one of the best I saw -- you are Hannah Cruz, right?

H: Yes?

T: Well your drawing was quite handsome -- you have quite the talent with graphite. Only problem was you didn't finish, but it was well done.

H: (blushing furiously right here) I wanted to finish it, but it took me so long to do just what I did -- but thank you! I really appreciate it.

Here it is! I was supposed to draw the front side of the ribcage, too, but it just didn't happen.
The conversation continued...covering topics such as what my major was, who was my last teacher, how I can improve my gesture drawings, and that he was using my graphite drawing as an example to the class.

Even though my cheeks were burning I felt like I could pat myself on the back -- my art teacher, in a class that I was sure I would be the worst in, just complimented me as one of the best -- and not only had he complimented me but he had given me room to improve. I think I loved that the most.

We didn't have a model tonight so Morrow explained to us some class policies and that he wanted us to improve -- of course, constantly reminding us that we are "intelligent and talented" -- he told us grades are neither a form of punishment or reward but a way for us to gage our improvement.

He told us he'd be picky, but that's how we'd learn. But more importantly he emphasized over and over again that we could do it, and that we should respect ourselves as artists -- no room for skeptical journalists here.

And as I scribbled notes about the class and how we could improve, I took note of some specific things he said.

1. "Remember -- no slashed wrists or warm tubs of water. This will all work out!"

2. "All you've got to do is keep your head in the game and believe in the Marvelous Morrow's Miracle system of drawing -- and show up, of course!"

How refreshing -- a professor that believes in his students and works to help them believe in themselves. I'm a believer.
Goodbye journalistic skepticism. Hello artistic optimism.


1 comment:

Laura Elizabeth said...

Hooray Hannah!! That's wonderful, and a great lesson from your teacher. :) (I always knew you were awesome :))

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