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The Costume Shop

October 26, 2011

View throught the window into a costume making workshop

Finding this drawing was a strange experience. I was on my way to a lecture on ‘defining the value of art in society’ or some such nonsense. Turned out to be a bit too theoretical for me. Far too much talking, not enough art making. But I digress….

I need to cut across the campus, so I take these little metal stairs I found, figuring I’d end up coming out by the library. Well, the steps go down and down and into this little courtyard – with no exit! It’s a dead end! Just a pit in the earth between buildings, filled with leaves and dried up crab apples. I have no idea why they bother to make a stairway to nowhere.

But – while I’m down here – I notice the offices don’t have shades. They probably never get any light down here. And inside is this fascinating workshop where they’re doing something interesting. I first noticed the huge Elizabethan cartwheel ruff around the neck of a dress dummy.  They have racks of funny hats and long capes, and marionettes hanging from the ceiling.  It’s like a little fairyland down in this air shaft. How perfect!  I had to come back the next day and do a little sketch.  I wish I’d drawn all the stuff in there – but it felt so strange peering in the window. Like I’d have to run away if anyone came in.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2011 7:53 PM

    Good Lord! What a magical costume cave! I love your sketch, Marc.

  2. Tom permalink
    March 13, 2012 2:02 PM

    Marc, I originally stumbled across this sketch on the Urban Sketcher site. Just random internet surfing. It completely changed my perspective on art. I had been taking oil classes for years and while I enjoyed it, I was loosing my passion for grinding out paintings that took hours and hours to complete. After I saw this I went out and bout some sketching materials and watercolor. I am still struggling to figure out how to make a sketch I like but I am having a great time. Awesome sketch and thank you!

    • March 13, 2012 2:45 PM

      Hey! Glad to hear it. I know what you mean. I enjoy having a really polished piece of artwork – but sometimes I just don’t think the sustained effort is worthwhile. The more realistic a piece becomes, the more I find myself wondering why I didn’t just do it digitally. But I understand why a lot of people love the polished original. It’s like owning a mystical artifact – having a hand made oil painting. But making them is somehow a Pyrrhic victory. I guess I enjoy both kinds of work, but I know I’m more temperamentally suited to the quick sketch :)

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