One of the ways I learned to draw was
to slip my hand into Ingres' hand, copying a
portrait sketch first by mapping those points
that established the relationship between
one plane of the face drawn, to another.
It was a painstaking process, to attend so closely
to things under the surface—but once mapped,
the zygomatic arch waited for me, as if to see
whether my copy, feeling my way through the pressure
and motion Ingres made making that mark, was true.
Uncanny, how the anchor points and mapping dissolved
from structure under my hand, to my hand being overlaid
by that of the master as it moved. But I was younger then:
I needed to map and to anchor, I needed the practiced
structure Ingres gave rather than Tiepolo's brisk grace.
Now I'm far more free about the thing, the process,
and the early summer sky has enough Tiepolo to satisfy
my restless hand without it moving. Under the wash of light
and color, artless art I copy by way of seeing, overlaying
the Venetian in my mind's eye, time passes: the sun climbs
and bakes the sky white—an erasure by way of radiance of
Tiepolo, of Ingres, of those memories and bones I anchor by.