Interactions Between Artists

I used to fantasize about what my life would be like if I married a Russian painter. We would lounge in our studio apartment, sharing cigarettes, caviar and snooty repartee with his smooth-legged muses. Unfortunately for my hypothetical Russian husband, I've moved on from that lofty dream, but I do still enjoy discussing art with those who spend their days creating it.

Every Wednesday, I go to the Sandy Hill Life Drawing Workshop with my friends Clare and Lisa (who post their pieces on their Instagram and art blog, respectively). We all live nearby, so on our walk home we chitchat about the poses we liked, the poses we didn’t and the reasons why we hate drawing hands. 

Recently, the girls tried to teach me about “foreshortening,” a technique used to draw objects that look shorter than they are because of the way they’re positioned. This skill is especially useful for artists who plan to draw their models with hands. On the other hand, I tend to just hope I can’t see them from wherever I’m sitting.

I do, however, always plan to sit across from the older man I mentioned in my last post. Over the last five workshops, I’ve drawn him at least once in order to track the progress of my new hobby. But, I may have blown my cover. 

Last week, I got a bit cocky with where I chose to sit and I think he caught on to what I was doing. Until then, we’d never so much as made eye contact. That night, I had a sneaking suspicion he was going to try to talk to me. From what I could tell, he seemed playfully flattered by whatever he thought I was doing. So, I saw no harm in looking busy when he came to my side of the room. 

Unless I grow tired of drawing him, I don't think I'll ever introduce myself to the older man across the room. After all, his mystique was what piqued my interest in the first place.

According to my sketchbook, without foreshortening, drawn hands tend look more like cow teats. 


Cindy Olberg

Cindy is an aspiring writer who has recently decided to adopt a new hobby. Equipped with her sense of humour and limited artistic ability, she will take you on a tour of some of Ottawa’s life drawing workshops, and hopes to inspire you along the way. 

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