On Thursday night, I attended a figure drawing session and Friday I strolled through two museums. One was specifically for photography and the other was all types of art. The figure drawing session took place in an art gallery and went on for three hours. It takes place in an art gallery called Pain Sugar, located in downtown Riverside. The sessions go on every Thursday night except the first of the month. I attended the session three times before and all the models were female. This time we had a male model. I always enjoy these sessions. Even though I don't draw exceptionally well, I still try and my drawings have gotten better each time. The vibe there is calm and encouraging. It's a chance to release those creative juices. Not only do I draw, I write poetry during this time and recently started writing stories. I write a couple lines or a paragraph then draw the pose that accompanies it. Many people may feel uncomfortable drawing a nude model. The first day I went, it was a little weird, but everyone participating is so focused on the art. Of course, I also wanted to respect the model. It takes a lot of confidence to do that.
I went to the UCR/ California Museum of Photography and the Museum of Art in Riverside. The first museum displayed commercial photography by various artists. There weren't many pieces shown, but I enjoyed walking around viewing the photographs. The Museum of Art had multiple exhibits and pieces of art by high school and elementary school students. One exhibit was dedicated to the people of Japanese descent held in internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It had replicas of the tags they had as identification and a story about a family during that time. Another exhibit had excavated artifacts from Tlatilco, a village that thrived in ancient Mexico.
Yesterday was filled with exploring many forms of art and walking the city enjoying the atmosphere. To see hard work, dedication, creativity, research, and care in these exhibits an pieces of art, inspired and motivated me to continue being creative and to believe in my self.
I watched another class on Skillshare by Morgan Lindsay Nelson and she explained the difference between suspense and surprise. Here is my project:
In the forest i saw
Rays of sunshine poked through the small gaps, illuminating my path just enough. The trees swayed in sync as if dancing together. I took a deep breath, chilly fresh, piney air, filling my lungs. Branches crunched and snapped under my feet as I continued down the path.
What is that?
A tremor overtook me as my heart beat hard against my ribs. A hand stuck out from behind a thick, gnarled tree. Tears welled up in my eyes, as I crept closer. The fingers were bloody with dirt stuck underneath the fingernails. The palms upward and bloody. A hand turned into an arm, and the arm became a body of a young woman. She had on yoga pants and a T-shirt, an I-phone wrapped in white earphones lying by her side. I dropped to my knees, my stomach about to hurl up the breakfast from this morning. Her eyes were closed, head turned towards the sun.
Rays of sunshine poke through the small gaps, illuminating my path just enough. The trees sway in sync as if dancing together. I take a deep breath, chilly fresh, piney air, filling my lungs. Branches crunch and snap under my feet as I continue down the path.
This is a lovely day for-
I stop in my tracks, a foot hovering in the air. My eyes widen, pulse racing faster than a racehorse on Sunday. My stomach warms and gurgles, this morning's breakfast of oatmeal and granola corralling its way up.
Drops of blood sporadically splattered over grass and branches lead down the path. My foot lowers. The trees sway forward, directing me on where to go.
I should call the police! I should- wait, what if someone is hurt?
The thought is enough to send me sprinting forward, hopping side to side avoiding stepping on the evidence.
Evidence? Oh no, this is a crime scene. A possible murder!
"No, no, I shouldn't jump to conclusions. Maybe someone fell or got hurt."
But the blood splatter... I've watched enough crime dramas and Dateline to know what that means.
"H-hello?" I call out.
Oh no, oh no, oh no! Maybe the person went home?
The blood trail ends at a thick gnarled tree to my right. A tremor overtakes me, my heart beating hard against my ribs. A hand sticks out from behind it. Tears well up in my eyes, as I creep closer. The fingers are bloody with dirt stuck underneath the fingernails. The palms are upward and bloody. A hand turns into an arm, and the arm becomes a body of a young woman. She has on yoga pants and a T-shirt, an I-phone wrapped in white earphones lying by her side. I drop to my knees, my stomach about to hurl up the breakfast from this morning. Her eyes are closed, head turned towards the sun, its rays kissing her pale, blue lipped face.
Skillshare is a platform where you can watch classes on anything you're interested in and learn a new set of skills. They have four categories: Creative, Business, Technology, and Lifestyle. Within these categories, they have specialized fields for you to choose from. I use the Creative category and click Writing, which gives me countless videos- made by real people from those fields- on how to write characters, pitch stories, plan a plot, etc. This is a great tool for someone who cannot go to a physical classroom. For each class, there is a "project" you do to try out the tips given in the class AND the teacher will give you actual feedback on it. You can explore it for free for two months by clicking this link: http://skl.sh/2pjW1B7
Now, as an example, I will share a project I did for a class called "Brainstorming Your Story" taught by Steve Alcorn. The objective was to write a summary of a new plot you could create a story from. The story I did wasn't new, but I wanted to write a revised summary and incorporate my new ideas. Here it is:
Mai Jenkins moves to New York to pursue her modeling career and faces hardships in this journey that test her character. She grew up with a single father in small town Venolia, Texas. She dreamed of walking down runways since she was five years old. Fifteen years later, she makes those dreams a reality. Mai expects the model life to be luxurious, filled with free fashionable clothes, champagne all day, and jobs coming in hot. Unfortunately, she soon realizes the modeling industry isn't all glitz and glam. Through hardships, lost friends, and expensive rent, Mai tries to stay afloat above the ever churning waters. In this journey Mai learns not to trust everyone who says they want to help her, and she begins to trust in her confidence. Not only does Mai's new life in New York bring hardships of the modelling life, but it causes her to grow as a young woman and find her place in this world.Not all that glitters is gold.
This isn't a finished product, I have always struggled with writing summaries, especially in school. Either I add too much or too little information. The teacher of this class message me and told me to add more of her challenges and how she overcame them. I didn't expect a quick response, but I'm glad he had a chance to look over what I wrote. Skillshare is a really helpful website and my writing is going to grow for sure.
*Photo by Kari Shea
Does it pass, does it cry? Does it sigh when it loses sunlight? We want more when there’s less, and less when there’s more. It gives us context and deadlines. Milestones and headstones. We can waste it or spend it wisely.
But it doesn’t exist.
Time is not real.
Humans created time to document the rays of sunshine. To categorize wake and sleep. Time is an illusion. You cannot run out of something that doesn’t exist. We have built a world around time and now it has authority over our lives. We will never have enough time to do something. It is never enough time to have fun. Each day comes and goes in the blink of an eye, next thing you know it’s 2025. So what’s the solution? Time management they say. But we don’t control the Earth’s tilt or rotation. We cannot bend it to our will and stop it on command. It goes on with or without us in orbit. Everyday is the same. We are living in the past, present, and future at the same time. There are no breaks between. There’s no yesterday or next week. We are floating in space latching on to meaningless words and numbers that elude us.
Remember this the next time you wish the hours could go by faster.
*Photos by Andrik Langfield and Ashley Bean on Unsplash.com
**Edited by me
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