Yesterday, I had my penultimate Basic Drawing class. Almost everyone has improved tremendously. We did charcoal. Charcoal is so dirty and fun to use. You can crumble it and smear it with your hands, or rub it on its side, erase it with the gentle kneaded eraser, or with the harsh whitening rectangular eraser. You feel like you are sculpting the picture instead of drawing it. We drew a cup, a vase, and a small pitcher sitting on a windowsill. The morning light made it look like they were glowing. The sun kept going behind a cloud and muting the effect, though, so we couldn't take the light for granted.
We were quiet, as some of the chattier members of the class were gone. Lisa, a guidance counselor at a Quaker school, who has breast cancer, left for a much-anticipated trip to France with her husband. I don't know where Eleanor was, the retired Quaker school librarian who spins, weaves, makes baskets, and talks a blue streak. Quakers aren't as silent as you would think.
We also have an incredibly well-dressed young woman who teaches at a Christian college nearby. I can't believe she works with charcoal in those clothes. She is one of those people who is careful and neat by nature, so maybe she enjoys the challenge. Her drawing has come a long way, but she still tends to draw the concept of an object instead of the object itself. (And no, I'm not going to put quotation marks around "itself.")
I just turned off a small toy SUV that had been going around our little racetrack on its own for a few minutes, with no one to observe or interfere.