Thursday, February 1, 2007

Leafy beginning

Day three and I'm still drawing leaves. I have progressed a bit, though, I suppose. Day one I was drawing one right-leaning leaf. Day two I was working on a left-leaning leaf, and today I was working on matching pairs of left and right-leaning leaves. Tomorrow I'll be staring a lotus, with a bloom and lots of leaves.

Coloring is still much the same, practicing how to shade leaves, and is proving a little more difficult than the drawing, where you have to worry only about the making the proper line. Paint, on the other hand, requires lines as well as proper balance of paint to water and getting spread on the paper so that it creates a seamless fade from dark to light.

The experience so far has been rewarding. There's so much going on, but really not that much happening. But being in a new place, around new people, there's always something calling for your attention. I don't really do much but go to school. I'm up around 6:30, breakfast at 7:00, and school begins with prayer and meditation at 8:00. Drawing class lasts from 8:30-11:30 and painting from 1:30-4:30, followed by closing prayers. If I have some time at lunch or after dinner, I do a little drawing. Evenings I walk around the stupa, pop into thangka shops to look at the art, and do a little reading. I don't travel far. Everything I need is within a 5 minute walk.

Most of my classmates are quite young, many I believe still in their teens. There seems to be about an equal number of monks and lay people, and besides myself there are two other foreigners, an American woman my senior in both years and art skills, and a young French woman who has has a lot more going on with her art than me.

In fact that's true about nearly everyone at the school except for an 18 year old Tibetan girl, Tsering Wonmu, with whom I have become friends as we both share a profound lack of skill in comparison to our classmates. She's started the same week as me, but as she's young and is planning to take the full six year course can afford to take the long view in developing her art. There's a picture of her here, one I took just now at the internet cafe, where she happened to arrive a few minutes ago with Miki, a Japanese woman who has been at the school for a couple of years now.

I've also got a few photos here, but as it takes forever to upload them there are only a few. There are a couple of shots of the Gompa, one of the school building where I'm studying, and a shot of a street urchin.

Thanks for all the email. I'll try to answer them as I can, but with limited time and access, it might take a while.



1 comment:

  1. Hi Jeff,

    What an interesting life you seem to be leading. Excellent stuff.

    I'm writing to ask permision to use your 'street urchin' photograph for reference for an oil painting.
    I can't seem to find an email address to write to anywhere so I'm leaving my message here.

    I'll check back here for your answer.


    Chris Chalk