Socially distant life-drawing

Covid in its wake brought separation and gloom, the silver lining however has been the time to zoom into Self. Hard for people like me who rely on connectivity, through life drawing and my healing practice, social distancing meant both these activities came to a standstill.

Days bled into one another and the man made concept of time got totally warped. Days felt like an ever so prolonged weekend. Gardening kept me very grounded, watching seeds germinate, creating time-lapse clips of dancing fresh sepals entetralled me. Online scrabble kept my mind ticking, quality time spent with my mother and sister was beautiful, a couch surfing guest stranded at my home gave me company, and I did a major spring clean using Olio. But I dearly missed drawing.

However fleeting or long it maybe, zoom provides that window to experience the much covetted into-me-you-see, intimacy!

Then a message from the blue –  Tom, a life model contacted me via instagram, appreciated my work and suggested to draw him. As I don’t particularly enjoy drawing from photographs, I was cynical of online platforms as a means to substitute drawing from life. His perseverance resulted in a long chat via Zoom, familiarising with his home setting, oceans apart, and I gave it a go. Thanks to him, my nervousness dissipated within the first twenty minutes, and since then, over the months I have enjoyed many a collaborative sessions with him. And, it opened me to accepting invitations from people in different neighbourhoods, cities and countries.

It meant working from a table in the main house  and not in my studio as wifi connection doesn’t go as far as that. The scale of the work became smaller, eyes were strained, marks became different. And how I wished one could zoom in on details and observe with the heavenly engineered eyes rather than a fixed camera with auto exposure. Having used zoom for a good few months now, a different sense prevails. I have come to accept the platform for what it is; digital, and use it to the best of its possibilities – shortcomings or blessings.

One aspect was clarified once and for all; far from being a still image- it is drawing from life, the person is breathing, and moving in all their vulnerability and strength . And most important of all, one can have uninterrupted conversations and exchange.  The connection is for real!! I perceive the world via energies. Connection is the vibration that exists between people when we are seen, heard and valued for who we are, with consent and without judgement. However fleeting or long it maybe, zoom provides that window to experience the much covetted into-me-you-see, intimacy!

 

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