My First Art Class

Baha’i teaches: “We must not only be patient with others, infinitely patient, but also with our own poor selves.” – Abdu’l-Baha

The first art class I ever take is first semester, freshman year in college 1983. I think it will be a fun way to get units.

Placing object in a scene

MOVING object in a scene

Rabbit pitcher with cigarette in pour-hole.  (parents smoked, it was 1963)

Rabbit pitcher with cigarette in pour-hole. (parents smoked, HEY! it was 1963)

We work on easels, drawing huge pictures on large sheets of paper.  The first class I discover that during breaks students walk around the room looking at each others drawings. I walk around too.  Their drawings are REALLY good, so good that I dread going to the second class and the first class is only half-way over.

Second class I get there early to claim my spot.  I position my easel at the very back of the room, in a corner, making it very difficult for anyone, including the teacher, to see my drawings.

Anatomy study - my own foot with a plastic rose

Anatomy study – my own foot holding a plastic rose (better than a cigarette)

The teacher walks around the room commenting on the students’ drawings.  He scrunches himself in the corner to see my drawings, says nothing and walks on.  The third class he pulls me aside and instructs me to get a large sketchbook and draw 50 pictures outside the class. (Turns out this is the ONLY instruction he ever gives me the entire semester)

The fourth class I discover I am the only student enrolled who isn’t an art major and has never taken an art class in their life.  Being straight out of high school and extremely conscientious it never crosses my mind to withdraw.  It probably crosses the art teacher’s mind.  To my relief the other students stop trying to see what I’m drawing.


Mom’s kitchen, staged – slightly askew

P.S. I kept the sketch book.   I commuted to the University from home so all my drawings were things in or around my parent’s house.  I was always desperate trying to find things that were easy to draw. The 4 drawings on this page are some of my first 50 sketches.   That was the last drawing class I ever took at that University.

Drawing class

painful,  humbling

Sketch book – priceless

and now drawing with words, my “Health” haiku:

creating from heart

pure emotion of being

soul singing out loud

11 comments on “My First Art Class

  1. I, too, took an art class, for the adventure. Others told me I was crazy, because it was an automatic C for non-art majors; I guess the class was always crowded. It had fun; yes, it was embarrassing. Yes, my GPA took the hit, but the experience was worth it. I kept my work, but it has been lost over the years. Oh, and my instructor was a little bit more interactive with me than yours, though I was low priority, of course.


  2. Da Vinci, Picasso, Gaugin, Rembrandt, Westerfield – they all started the same way. (Amazingly, I remember that rabbit pitcher!!!)


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