Maritza Ruiz-Kim

Artist, San Francisco Bay Area

Works in Progress

Drawing today
Drawing today

Well, I think I’ve already established that I deeply believe in works in progress- for myself and for others- you know, that we haven’t arrived yet. And that it’s okay.

But here is an actual work in progress in the literal sense- I am drawing for a client, and this is her sweet little baby.

Let me tell you, babies are SO HARD TO DRAW! I haven’t drawn this age baby in a while. I drew Zee as a newborn, and he had more angles than this chubby-wubbly baby! (Zee was quite tiny- born at 6 pounds, 1 ounce, covered in white goop.)

This little boy is all squishy, and getting the drawing to show the mischievous twinkle in his eye instead of just a snarl, it’s a little tricky. What I am finding amazing, though, is that one little brush of the pencil, or one touch of the eraser can change so much. And I have to stare into the photo & drawing, back & forth, back & forth, to catch what’s just a little (or a lot!) off. That’s what’s fun (and maddening) about this kind of art. It’s a practice in observation that means I have to stay alert to the process and what I see. I can’t let my mind glaze over the details. I have to catch my own mistakes. And I have to have the courage to make a mark, or erase, knowing that there’s no undo button. It’s an exercise in courage on many levels, which is why I think art is so important for children. Just going through that process, and building confidence as they see themselves grow, that’s integral to the development of a little person.

On that note, I am starting art classes for 5-8 year olds next week. I have been toying with the idea, then getting increasingly serious about it, but I kept trying to clean up my studio to allow for the space, or trying to come up with my final curriculum. Then I decided yesterday- just do it! I went next door and asked my neighbor if she’d like her daughter enrolled (which she’s always told me that she would be) and I got a flyer posted, and I am ready to rock next Thursday. Almost. Just gotta clean my studio some more and decide what out of a thousand different things I could teach, I will actually teach. At least I have done this before. But never in my own home! And never solely BY ME, it’s always been in public schools or private ones.

Here we go! 3 students down, at least 7 to go! (That would be only 1 paying student so far, and 1 being my oldest son, and 1 being pro bono, but hey who cares!)

I’m teaching again!

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