Big Red Triangle Nose

Another thing from The Box

This from my Costume Rendering Class in college, taught by this crazy awesome old Italian dude.
He was blind.
No seriously, he had, like, major eye surgery during the summer, told us all about it too. Sounded majorly gross. Wore an eye patch and those huge dark old-people glasses.
He would shuffle around during class while we worked on capturing our live-model-wearing-costumes-from-stock in whatever medium he’d assigned that day. Mostly gauche and acrylics but sometimes pencil, crayon, charcoal, pen.
One minute he’s shuffling around over there somewhere and the next minute Bam! out of No Where! Poof! like a ninja! behind you, and shouting, “Gorgeous! Perfect! Beautiful! It just needs…a little…may I?” and then he’d take your paintbrush away from you, load it up with red, lean in so his face was about half an inch from your paper, and draw a Big. Red. Triangle. Nose. Right on your painting’s face. Every Time! And then shout “Yes! There! Gorgeous!” again and shuffle away.
It was Hilarious.
Oh my damn.
Cracked me up!
Why was he doing this? Was red the only color he could see? Or was he fucking with us?
I was the only person in class who found this behavior even a little bit funny though. Why? I was good. I could make another painting. Or use the nose, whatevs. My classmates? Not so much. When they were particularly loving one of their projects they’d develope this funny hulking posture to hide their paintings from his blind yet eagle-y eye, but somehow there he would be, shouting Gorgeous! Perfect! and assaulting their painting with big red triangle noses.
But, I mean, joke’s on me because they’re all costume designers now and I’m not.
Mr. Adult Beginner had a teacher with a similar method: if you were fussing too much over a scenic rendering, would walk over and scribble a Big Scribble across the whole thing and say, “There! I’ve ruined it for you. Now you’re free!”
Anyway, what was my point?
Oh right: it just struck me that two of my favorite teachers of all time are old men who can’t do their art anymore. My blind rendering teacher, and my ballet teacher who walks with two canes and has to sit down all through class.

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in Drawings of great sillitude and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Big Red Triangle Nose

  1. Anony Mouse says:

    i have a strange admiration for an oldie of 78 years old who insulted me big time… and not in a funny ha-ha way. he was my foreign language professor, super snob, former olympian (probably first olympics ever) and at the age of 1K still swimming every morning and driving 4 hours to go skiing when it snows. i love hate him. so much talent and skill and still sharp in thought and style. he’s even handsome and a smart dresser. he’s my old man crush.

  2. yesilikethat says:

    I took a life drawing class where the teacher did exactly the same thing – he’d come over and lean on your drawing, and say ‘No no no, this is all wrong – you need to change this…’. Then he’d scribble all over it in black marker and say ‘Okay don’t do it like this, what I’m drawing is wrong, but you get the general IDEA’. It used to drive me mad. Also he had really bad BO.

    The only good bit about the class was that once an incredibly hot guy posed for us, but I actually got super embarrassed and couldn’t draw him! I have no problem drawing fat/bald/wrinkly/old people, but I felt sort of…wrong… just staring at this guy.

    • Ew, scribbling And BO, that doesn’t sound helpful.
      Funny thing is, I think my old blind Italian was actually teaching us an important lesson: costume sketches must be quick. Why labour over a nose when a red triangle sums up the idea of a nose much quicker and frees up your painting-time for the important thing- the costume. At least that’s what I got out of it. Maybe he really just couldn’t see anything but red.
      His costume renderings from his pre-eye-problem days were A-Mazing.
      I hear you with having trouble drawing the hot guy! Took a life-sculpture class once, we always had a nude model, and they were always women, guess that’s just what the art department had available…until the day I walked in and there’s my friend, a dude friend, and I was like, “oh hey, what are you doing here? And why are you wearing a bathrobe? Wait- omg- no!”
      His girlfriend lived on my hall, and I was soooooo embarrassed, I was like, ‘Oh noes, Mustn’t speak of this’ but that just made it even more funny for her, she was all like, “Heeeey, heard you saw a whole lot of my boyfriend in class today!!!” and I’d be like, (blush) (run away)

  3. O'Fla says:

    about being old and not able to do their art anymore and still teaching:

    -when I think back, all of my best ballet teachers were those who were not showing anything at all in the “normal” way of showing. These teachers, mainly older, mainly unable to do much anymore, were masters at explaining and gesturing and giving examples. If they really needed to have something _shown_ they would find a student who could “approximate” it, and work from there.

    I guess most things are that way – you just have to be shown “the way”, and then “do it” – you need not always be shown exactly how.


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