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It’s half past one in the morning, and I've progressed in an indistinctive direction. My cold fingers guide the soft vine charcoal across the matte, welcoming surface of smooth paper. My lines are gestural, strokes varied and abstract. Your first impression would lead you to infer that I am unguided, without objective goals in sight. But you would be surprised; a figure develops from my scrawny lines. I'm nowhere near complete mastery of the medium, but I've grown a centimeter closer to understanding figure drawing and its whole legacy stemming from a variety of avant-garde movements. When people ask how the arts have led me to a love for learning about the objects and processes around me, I can only discuss how to the local art studio captures my individual obsession of about the world through observing my changing surroundings.

The studio is a minimal, spacious room that sprouts with flimsy steel stands poised around a center stage where models would remain petrified for the audience to paint. It would often fall into such a hush that I would quickly become aware of my own breathing, rapidly drawn absorbed into my environment; a “forest of easels and river of people,” as our instructor called it. Standing there in isolation...

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