I have been sharing works from Figure in Interior; the most unusual art class I’ve ever been a part of. I talked about Cezanne, and how making small marks distributed around the page (thank you to Fran O’Neill) can be a way to integrate time and change within a drawing. I talked about Kathy Paul and how her vision impairment resulted in a deep exploration shapes and spaces. Lauren Kent‘s drawings were a total free-fall, and Mark Fleming talked about his experience of letting go of “thingness,” following a little ant’s path across the objects on the page. Today I’d like to highlight Madelaine Mimi Torchia Boothby. We call her Mimi. Mimi has drawn since she was a kid. She tends to be on the spontaneous side, with a youthful devil may care exuberance that I admire. I’ve mostly seen her work in watercolors, which is a tricky medium for a person who doesn’t like to sit still. This class was the first time I’ve seen her draw. This was the first time I’ve ever seen her sit still and take it slow. It was nothing short of a miracle. And her drawings got better! Mimi: “By the 3rd or 4th class, I found that not only had I slowed down, I was paying even more attention to detail than I ever had before.” M: “It took until the last class before I started thinking about what the marks I was making looked like, not just where to put them, but how to draw them.” M: “This class immediately affected the way my paintings were coming, and I am excited about that. In fact, I had been blocked and then without realizing it, I wasn’t.” R: “What does it feel like when you’re blocked?” M: “When I’m blocked, I just feel like I’m not good enough and I’ll never be good enough and why bother. But then it was like you opened a little door and I bypassed all that stuff. Now I want to try another portrait which I’ve tried several times and never got it to my satisfaction.” Mimi makes a good point here. She didn’t say she was blocked because she didn’t have any ideas, she said she was blocked because she didn’t feel like her ideas or skills were good enough. I can definitely relate. Glad the class helped! Way to go Mimi!