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Our son is drawing nude figures (which seems to be more intriguing to us than to him)


I was looking at Kal’s graphic drawings of nude figures the other day. A couple of months ago he attended an adult art class for drawing the human body. He has always been drawing with passion and love, no matter what he sets his eyes on. So, this time it was naked models. Not bad for a 14-year-old artist.

It was his choice to attend that adult class as part of his diverse art studies. He loved the artist that taught the class and wanted to attend it. The students in this art class (all aged from twenty-something to fifty-something) were supposed to draw naked human models posing for them, male and female. Kal’s attitude seemed to be extremely professional and his comments on the class were utterly artistic. His father and I, though, were behaving more like two kids. We have always been really close to our children and have always tried to discuss various matters with ease and respect. This time there was not much response on Kal’s end, so we guessed he felt a bit uncomfortable among all the adults around and was doing his best to be just one in a group of artists.

We were interested in stupid details, like if he felt uncomfortable drawing naked modes at his fragile age; how the other people in the class treated him; we wondered how he managed to focus on drawing the figure rather than on the model’s nakedness; whether he got distracted in a way or not; etc…  We asked various questions (well, teasing ones included) but received just dignified one-syllable answers  -  pretty predictable way of having a conversation on such a topic, especially with a young artist.

When we directed our short conversations to more art-oriented grounds we were able to hear sentences revealing emotions. Lucky us. But our teasing attitude was never awarded with any feedback. Logical, isn't it?

Kal's interest to the class seemed to be profoundly professional and he considered it a challenge to his drawing abilities. He viewed models just as models, well …. not exactly as apples in a bowl…., but models anyway. Naked body, he said, had its unique beauty and artists have been interested in drawing it for centuries. Good score.

Nudity does not seem to be something too difficult to find in today’s world. It is everywhere, and most of the time it is looking quite cheap. But it attracts attention anyway. When the art school required our parental consent to include a 14-year-old in that class, we readily gave it… Did anyone asked for parental consent during Renaissance or were people more “modern” and “broad-minded” then compared to what we are today?

Young artists are quite lucky anyway – at least when it comes to access to nudity. Young mathematicians or musicians could only envy them, since they contact people clad in many layers of clothing. But young artists, oh, they are a different story. ”They can have the bare truth, even when they are teenagers”, we are joking at home.

Our son is giving us the serious look of “Come on, guys, be serious, you are supposed to behave maturely but here it is only me who is obviously doing that…” Indeed, it is only him. Good for him. His parents need more time to grow up and become mature. That might happen one day, in indefinite future.

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Several of Kal's drawings from that class - some were supposed to be drawn in very short time, like for a couple of minutes: