Before last November, it had been a long time since I had a cold. I know the last time I had the flu was New Years Day of the year 2000. I’m pretty sure I had gone at least 7 years without a cold. I have an immune system made of steel. And then came this winter. This week in March of 2010 was Round 4 of allergies or colds dragging on and on. I went to the doctor yesterday and got some antibiotics and other medications to kill the germ and relieve the symptoms. The most noticeable side effect was a distinct lack of patience and the karma of drawing to myself a number of taxing situations testing what little patience I had. Tonight’s figure drawing session extended my torture. I kept losing track of time, getting very little done with each pose before it was over. It was taking me nearly the whole allotted time for the pose, just to lay it out on the paper, which left no time for development of tonal values. On the last pose I moved around the room to see if there were any other more interesting viewpoints, and discovered that just about anywhere else in the room was a better place to be than where I had been. Instructor Heather Clements’ suggestion at the beginning of the session was to focus on light and shadow, with development of a full range of values, from the darkest dark to the lightest light. I had been drawing in the one location in the room that had very diffuse light, so that the form was almost all one value except for some very dark cast shadows underneath — no wonder I had been having such a time! I moved to another part of the room, and found a lot more variation of values for the last pose. Even so, it was a struggle — I think my cold meds made me stupid. But the other artists there at Studio b were encouraging. It’s nice to be in the company of other supportive artists.