When I arrived at drawing this morning, I felt stressed out and grumpy. Drawing straightened me out. It offers two of the best remedies for the blues: work and beauty.

For the warmup one- and two-minute gestures, the model mostly chose poses with a lot of twist, heart-meltingly lovely:

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Something good was happening in my drawings of the ten-minute poses, and the last one here (20 min) has some of the best drawing I’ve done in a long time, if not ever. In them, and especially in the last two, I used a slightly different approach to get the edges of the shadows. It’s so obvious that I don’t know why (a) I didn’t do it before, and (b) it makes such a difference, but I didn’t and it does.

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A card stuck to a bookcase in my childhood home had this quote (more or less)  from T. H. White’s The Once and Future King typed on it.

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn . . . “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. . .. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you.”

When I was a teenager, I discovered that if I substituted “creative work” for “learning,” this rang even more true for me. Maybe they’re the same thing. Throw in some contemplation of beauty, too, and a bad mood doesn’t stand a chance.

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