Jan 312014


Whiling away some hours in the library, I started pulling down works I loved in the days of my youth. This is from Ray Smith’s novel The Lord Nelson Tavern.


…When the course began, Ti-Paulo said:

“I am serious painter and this is a serious course.  I don’t give a sweet fuck about your souls or how much you want to express them. Each drawing is a work of art. It is a complex problem of form, tone, composition, line, volume. You will learn to see these problems; you will learn solutions. The more solutions you learn, the better you will be able to express yourself, maybe.”

To the model, he said:

“Take off.”

The model took her robe off.

“Assume a pose.”

To the students he said:

“That is a nude woman. You will get something of her and of yourself onto the piece of white paper which is before you.  For the next two hours that paper contains your heaven and your hell. You will therefore treat it with due respect, firstly by addressing it properly, so….”

He held out his pencil toward it at arms length and said, “Hello paper.”

The students addressed their papers. Ti-Paulo grunted his approval and the course was launched.

—Ray Smith, The Lord Nelson Tavern.

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