Day 10 Ė Monday 25 July 2016

A ten-year hiatus, and strange but utterly compelling television

I was up at 7, had a shower, ate some breakfast, did a few other things and was out the door at 8.30. Iím doing a life drawing class at 9. I havenít done life drawing for about 10 years or so but I have taught it on occasions over the past few years. I was a little nervous but I ran through in my mind what I taught my students and it all came flooding back. I got there early so sat around a bit. At 9 no one was there. Cindy, the gallery manager, turned up so I asked what time life drawing was starting; she said 10. Oh well, so I took a walk into Uptown Sedona, bought a coffee from Starbucks as it was the only thing open, and sat and drank it on a bench on the main drag. The time I had to wait allowed me to plan next week a bit (what I mean by plan is that I intend to drive north to Antelope Canyon, Vermillion Cliffs, Horseshoe Bend, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and of course the Grand Canyon.) I managed to think through a potential scenario for making the trip work and minimising driving.

20 minutes, pancil on paper

I looked at the time and it was 9.45 so I headed back to the arts centre and spent the next 3 hours with about dozen or so other artistsí life drawing. The model, Nash was her name, was a totally awesome person and model, at one stage she told me that she had lived in Mullumbimby and that she really missed living in Australia. 3 hours went fast, I thoroughly enjoyed it and perhaps might go back for more during my time here, and really I should also get off my lazy acre when at home and start life drawing again too.

20 minutes, charcoal on paper 5 minutes, charcoal on paper 20 minutes, charcoal on paper 5 minutes, charcoal on paper

I met Eric soon afterward the drawing class finished and we drove a little ways up Oak Canyon and had lunch at the Indian Gardens a really nice place with a beautiful green and leafy outback eating area. After lunch we made our way back to the arts centre, I put together a working-in-the-studio schedule at the arts centre with Vince before walking back to home base casita. Itís a little wild and windy today. There are far less tourists around probably because Cowboy Fest had finished.

I didnít take any photos today, except for a few of my life drawings, so thatís all the visual stuff your getting for this day. I was back at the casita by mid afternoon, the sky was turning grey, the wind really picking up and sure enough within the hour the regular afternoon monsoon storm hit cooling the whole place down somewhat.

At 5.30 I went next door as I had been invited over for dinner. For the next 2 and half hours I sat in awe, dumbstruck, monumentally compelled by my first session of TV viewing I had experienced since being in America (and yes we ate TV dinner style but the food was sensational). It was day one of the democratic convention. So, in the past I had only ever heard about the hype of these conventions in newsbreaks back in Australia, I had never actually watched one in any length. It was something like a staged play, or a film, or an orchestral performance that had been rehearsed to perfection. There was fine speaker after fine speaker taking the stage and whipping the audience into a wild frenzy, particularly Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders. It was extraordinary viewing. The right words were said, inspiration was high on the agenda, although at least Sanders mentioned policies, with the best and biggest speaker on day one (Sanders) reserved for speaking last, the crowd erupted when he came on and when he finished, the commentary team waxed lyrical, that was enough for me so I retired to my casita and continued writing a few postcards to friends and family.

Tonightís other viewing was the recently released film Gone Girl. I got half way through watching it before my eyes began to close so I switched it off. The ending will have to wait until tomorrow, but already Ben Affleck is thoroughly annoying as is the story a little, but Iíve still got a half a film to go so I should really reserve judgment until the end.

20 minutes, charcoal on paper