Terry Fowler

Marge’s Life Drawing Class

We have a wonderful friend, Marge, who is now in her nineties. At the age of 65, when she went to York University to get a degree in Fine Art, she was a little intimidated by the whole scene. But gradually she gained more confidence. She even learned welding for a project in her sculpture class.

Once, she arrived a little late to her life drawing class, and the room was already packed with students. Marge found herself sitting at the back of the room. She couldn’t see the model, because the student in front of her was blocking her view.

Marge tapped the student on the shoulder and asked her if she wouldn’t mind moving over a little. The student turned around and said unpleasantly, “Well, you’re not paying tuition, so you don’t need to see the model.”

What to do. Marge settled down and started drawing.

As the class progressed, the instructor circulated among the students to see how they were doing. When he came to Marge’s drawing, he asked, “What’s that, Marge?” The other students, who’d heard Marge’s exchange with the young woman in front of her, looked on, curious to see how things would turn out.

Marge explained her problem to the instructor and told him that she had ended up drawing the only thing she could see. The instructor smiled and took her work up to the front of the class and told them the story. He held up the picture. “This is why we’re lucky to have Marge in the class. She’s given us a good lesson by solving her problem creatively,” he said. “There is always something to draw.” Marge had drawn the backside of the young woman in front of her, in every detail.