Drawing a Line
"Drawing is the artist's most direct and spontaneous expression, a species of writing: it reveals, better than does painting, his true personality." (Edgar Degas)
I could draw always. We all can. I like the story about the art professor who was asked by his five year old daughter "what do you do at work, Daddy?" and he answered " I teach people to draw." His wide eyed daughter replied "You mean they forget how??"
For awhile I kept up a practice of drawing in a sketchbook everyday for an hour and filled quite a few. I probably could start that up again as its a great way to switch the brain over to painting mode. I need that if I have been looking at emails or FB for awhile.
When I did a residency awhile back at the VSC there were visiting artists that you could invite into your studio for a brief chat about your work. Stuart Shils visited and had a thought for me that was surprising at the time. He said I drew well and too much and tended to lean on it. He said something like "We are painters!! Just paint! Painters paint! Don't draw, paint!!" So although I did small a value sketch in my little sketchbook (his sketchbook is wonderful, it was shown in his talk), I did this painting without any drawing and it was a completely different experience to remove the control and work more intuitively.
"My contribution to the world is my ability to draw... Drawing is still basically the same as it has been since prehistoric times. It brings together man and the world. It lives through magic." (Keith Haring)
Check out Stuart Shils paintings here: http://stuartshils.com
"Fine Lines" at the Portland Museum of Art
100 exceptional and rarely seen drawings and sketchbooks from the Brooklyn Museum’s world-renowned collection of American art. Dating from the late 18th through the mid-20th century, these masterworks encompass a wide range of techniques, styles, and media.
I saw this show last week and it was wonderful to see these drawings, mostly from the 19th and early 20th century in Portland. There were some elegant Zorach pieces, one of a young Dalov reading that was very beautiful. Some small and confident Homers, Max Weber, Isamu Noguchi figure sketches (who knew he drew from the model?) stood out for me. It was rewarding strolling around with a magnifying glass for a couple of hours.
Both quotes about drawing are found at The Painter's Keys Resource of Art Quotations. Free at http://www.painterskeys.com