Friday, October 26, 2012

A collaboration

Karen Lynn Williams and I got to know each other when we were paired up by our editor, Dorothy Briley, to do a book together.  Karen and Steve, her husband, lived and worked in Malawi as Peace Corps volunteers, and Karen had written Galimoto. We have continued to work together on several projects and have visited each other in Haiti, New York and most recently in France where I persuaded Karen to join my life drawing class. 

Here is her account of the evening:

The Nude

Figure drawing class, France

It is the delicate features;
Nose and mouth and brows
Which the artist sees.
The model, naked
wears a studied malaise
larger than life, she is “full”
a kind word.

Look at her fingers,
The artist says,
beautiful and the wisps of curl
about her face, beautiful
breasts full to her waist
if one could see
the waist in her folds.
The artist does not see the scar;
the nude has had her stomach
shrunken(for a short time
as these things seem to go)
the folds of flesh cascade to
thighs larger than two of mine,

The artist says
try a wash, fill it with color,
you see the design
there on her robe interesting, no?
Negative space,
the turn of her neck,
the angle of her chin.
Five minute poses
 like a poem, no?
 the artist says
a new pose
the figure turns away
arms thrown up, head tilted
bold angle and arc of her back
draw the eye
to light at play with the dark twist of her neck
to form lines thick and thin in turn
flow across the page
the back a soft milk white roundness
the texture of the nude
her arms swing down
and a slender finger tip dips just so
toward the dusk silk pillow on the floor.

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