Isn’t it visible on her face?  The inner decision that seems outward-looking, but is really her contemplation of the past in a long journey backwards through time…

I dimly recall reading a quote from Degas where he spoke of the beautiful smudginess of Velasquez …. Whatever it was, it was so long ago, quite apart from Velasquez and the qualities that Degas associated with his works, I had long wanted to create a soft chiaroscuro in my drawing, in emulation of Degas’s drawing techniques, that would suggest not just the atmosphere of air surrounding us all — but the mysterious atmosphere of thoughts.

A friend of mine agreed to pose for me one afternoon at her house.  I drew her in her familiar surroundings.  Drawing is wonderful that way.  You need so few supplies.  You don’t have to pack for a safari.  A notebook, some pencils, a sharpener, an eraser, and you’re ready.

We sat in a little nook off her kitchen where a broad window offered a view upon fields of corn.  Her hair was blonde, the color of straw.  And the light passed through it, and it was shot with gold.  She was going through an acrimonious divorce.  And she had been turning to her faith for answers.  Some part of her meditation found its way into my drawing.  And I was not even aware.

[Top of the post:  A Young Woman Staring into Space, pencil, by Aletha Kuschan]

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