‘Right, class,’ he said. ‘By now you can all draw a human figure to a reasonable standard. Today I want you to draw this woman exactly as she is, but also showing the person within — her personality. That is the aim of a true artist. A genius would also hint at her beautiful soul. You won’t succeed today, but I’m looking for a hint of that in your work.’
The students began. Some quickly drew outlines while others, more reflective, spent time just looking, trying to discern her inner life. The teacher prowled the room, praising here, suggesting there and occasionally snorting derision at sub-standard work. Leticia day-dreamed as the time passed.
Pencils hissed on paper, with the occasional scrub of an eraser on a faulty line or shading. Her knee ached a little and she stretched it before returning to her original pose.
Leticia didn’t mind people looking at her body, particularly dispassionate artists. She didn’t consider it better or worse than anyone else’s, and just thought of it as a vehicle to carry her, the real Leticia, around.
She knew her body presented a challenge to the class, as did her rich life experience within. The class may guess but could not know the details of her life and her roles in it. Leticia was proud to have been a wife, a mother and a grandmother.
And now she was a widow, and free.