Whitney #1 (detail)
Charcoal on paper, 24"x18"
Charcoal on paper, 18"x24"
We had our second life drawing session of the season in my studio last night. A good crowd turned out to work with our lovely model, Whitney. I'm a lot happier with my work this week. The coordination is coming back between my eyes and hands. Can't wait for next week!
In my post yesterday, I mentioned something about how the maples hadn't started changing yet. What a difference 24 hours makes! Coming in to the studio this morning, the trees all along the highway had suddenly started changing to yellows and oranges. I swear, yesterday they were green, today they're not. We haven't hit the peak by any means, but it is startling how fast the change occurred. Looks like we're going to have a beautiful leaf season. This will be my first in three years - I missed fall entirely in '08 and '09 while working in Iraq. I'm going to enjoy it now that I can!
Speaking of Iraq, this morning I saw the newsletter from the Gulf Region District, which is the Corps of Engineers command that I worked for in Iraq. There was an article on page 14 that stopped me dead: it was about four capacity development projects. I was the Capacity Development Program Manager and these were my projects until I left in April. One is to develop a training program for the Baghdad public works department. Another is to help the Anbar University revamp their engineering curriculum to meet US accreditation standards. Two more are to integrate Iraqi engineers into the reconstruction effort so they understand how to run projects to US standards. (Trust me: there are no Iraqi standards!) There were a couple more that I was trying to push through but evidently they've been cancelled for whatever reasons. Still, it was wonderful to see that these projects are alive and well, and to actually see Iraqis getting training in a program that I helped create. It makes me feel as if I really did contribute something to the effort.