"On Monday we had a male model, and it was the first time I had ever seen a naked man. I was actually quite excited and a good deal anxious...due to all the enthusiastic praise and boasts I had heard from classmates...
Boy, what a major disappointment I had."
--my diary, July 8, 1998 (age 17)
Lately, I've been listening to a lot of podcasts while painting in my studio, and one of my favorites is "Mortified." It's a storytelling project where adults read pages of their actual diaries from childhood and adolescence. It's so good!
This gave me the idea to delve into my own diaries to look for some "mortifying" blog post material. There is a lot of embarrassing stuff in my diaries, which I have kept diligently since the first grade. I found some art-related writing from high school, but first, I had to wade through pages and pages of this kind of thing:
More diary entries:
In case you don't remember, I am still madly in love with Zack Jones*. I always have been. Every day my love grows stronger, yet I burden only you with this secret. I am like Helena.**
Without Zack, living is reduced to a very small thing...
I always love Zack, and draw, unwillingly, his beautiful features upon my heart...
Dearest God, I love Zack so much that it overflows and spills out in great puddles over the rest of the world...for this love I would chop off all my limbs or walk across fire, or give my life. I probably would not gouge out my eyes, and I definitely would not sell my soul. But it's close.
*not his real name (this poor guy never had a clue about my major crush on him)
** Helena is a lovesick character from All's Well That Ends Well by Shakespeare.
April 21, 1998...
Monotony! Everything is monotony!! I sink lower and lower into the slime of non-life and soon I shall be dead. I crave life and action and faraway places...and LOVE!! My heart is heavy with this imminent something.
Although I suffered the torments of a melodramatic adolescence, I was able to find sanctuary in Art. I had a wonderful, encouraging art teacher: Mrs. Victor. That summer, thanks to Mrs. Victor, I got a scholarship to take a month-long figure drawing class for teens at the Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia. I felt very independent, taking the train into the city every day by myself. I wrote about my experience:
July 8, 1998
Today was my third day of life drawing class at Moore. I'm learning a lot about the human body and how to draw it. Our model didn't show up today, so the teacher made us draw a skeleton instead. Then everyone voted to walk to the Rodin Museum and sketch. It was gray and cold and raining steadily, and was exactly the type of rain which is unpleasant to go walking in.
On Monday we had a male model, and it was the first time I had ever seen a naked man. I was actually quite excited and a good deal anxious. I couldn't stop thinking about what one would look like, because I had never seen one. I sort of had the impression of something beautiful, magical, and awe inspiring, due to all the enthusiastic praise and boasts I had heard from classmates...
Boy, what a major disappointment I had...Oh well. Some things are not as good as people make them out to be. I should learn to recognize exaggerations when I hear them.
But how was I supposed to know? It was a complete shock.
PS. I never wrote about Zack Jones again. A few pages later, I had a new crush.