by David Finley
The concept behind a "Dr. Sketchy" session revolves around a specific theme instead of just body study. The models dress in different costumes and pose situationally while you draw them. There's an element of performance art meeting standard posing.
For this particular session, the theme was the disco era, studio 54.
I've never attended a figure drawing session that served alcoholic beverages or had a DJ working before, but after getting used to it, the volume of the music actually helps you drown out distractions and focus.
It was the kick in the pants I've been needing to do some good old traditional medium work, i.e. charcoal, conte', and ink. I've had a lot of success working digitally lately, but before Friday's session I had been hitting a wall with more standard materials.
The whole experience reminded me again just how important it is to participate in community as an artist. When you spend hours in your studio laboring over your work, it is easy to become insular. Engaging other artists not only provides companionship, but also helps you improve your work with valuable feedback, and creates opportunities to work with others to help advance both your career and the careers of your peers.
I've decided to attend more drawing sessions, despite the drive. Cameron Art Museum is also host to a more traditional weekly figure drawing session. Maybe I'll see you there.