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A detail from "Ella: Muse Cat #1" by L.S. King. Conté. Part of Drawingpalooza weekend. Finished goal is a drypoint etching.

A detail from “Ella: Muse Cat #1” by L.S. King. Conté. Part of Drawingpalooza weekend. Finished goal is a drypoint etching.

My drawingpalooza official began today.

What exactly is a drawingpalooze, you ask? It is the sudden and furious momentum of time connecting to deadlines and the end of a semester. This means one less day of leave in my stash a day off work and have told the world I am sequestering myself in my studio for three days. I need to finish (or in my case, start over) our final ink wash drawing, correct and work on a heightened drawing on toned paper, and complete two drypoint etchings. The image above is the sketch for one of the latter. It’s one of my studio muses, Ella.

And no, now don’t you go thinking I am a procrastinator because I am not. I’m just still slow at completing drawings. We’ve spent one and half sessions on the ink wash (I estimate that’s about three and a half hours). I spent a good deal of last weekend on the heightened drawing and dedicated a month of weekends to the two small drypoints.

Today the goal is to finish the ink wash. During a previous week we learned to sketch our drawing lightly and use ink and water to pant in tone for the image (yes, I said paint), rendering it. Our professor decided the still life subject matter, which includes a strange amount of plastic grapes (ugggggg!!!), a fake apple and pear, a glass bowl with some sort of fake fuzzy flowers on sticks and an artificial bird.

In the process of being shocked by this almost black and white watercolor technique added to the class (and being part of our final), I am reliving the horrors of my life at 17 when I took my first and only watercolor class in SUNY Geneso. I was a high school junior at the time.

The first few days went well. I was so thrilled. I’d create a masterpiece I could give my mother (a painter, as well), and then in one false move, a badly painted line too dark, I destroyed the painting. It was devastating enough I left the class and took refuge in one of the window seats and cried my heart out. When I finished, I washed my face up, went to a photography class and never looked back.

So right when I though it would be smooth sailing till the end of the semester and could immerse myself in drypoint, I have more work for which I bargained. It was a hard week of learning two-point perspective and drawing (imagine a good expletive here) cubes in space with an imagined light source. Apparently I don’t have that kind of imagination.

I owe a special thanks to Ken for tutoring me on late Tuesdays (our scheduled beer bottling nights) and suffering my meltdowns. Also, I actually feel like a true grad student with peers. Wendy, Langley and Kaitlin (look up) all were great cheerleaders and listeners.

All that helped me make it through a final portfolio review, which went well, but I’ll write more about that later.

Now I need to finish the ink wash. If it goes well, maybe I’ll share it tomorrow, however, as I can, I am posting to twitter … if anyone cares to join me.


The Unwinding Path is the blog of L.S. King – photographer, want-to-be printmaker and sometimes hypnotist. By day she is an arts communications officer at a rural university (translation: photographer, writer, and media content provider), and most of the rest of her time she is an MFA graduate student at Radford University.


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