The Power of Drawings

Drawings are are the groundwork for art. I never studied drawing and in a way I am grateful.  As children, we draw and express ourselves with a free hand. I think Picasso, who could draw very well academically and had training in that field, constantly tried to go back to his childhood drawing. He watched his children draw and emulated them. The figure can become a real bore when approached in an academic way. I recently went through some old drawings. I had gone to some classes with the nude model. Those drawings are stilted and hopelessly bad. But I think that just drawing the human form that we see and look at every day without the model become beautiful attempts to capture the energy they create.

Drawings that go through a lot of changes are great. The final drawing with legs, arms,and heads still present underneath give the final piece an animated look. There will be the final head facing in one direction with it’s ghost looking another way, and may have arms twisted and bent reaching out backwards. Drawings are studies that lead to the shapes and forms in our paintings. The old masters, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Goya and Michelangelo, did a lot of work on paper with sketches crowding out one another with under drawings peeking through. They are treasured now telling how a painting came about. These drawings are the skeletal structure of painting. I saw a beautiful drawing by Irene Lipton on Facebook the other day. It is a powerful drawing that is successful with the positive/negative shapes vying for attention and underneath these powerful shapes, ghostly thin gentle lines (figures?) floating around.

Drawings are cheaper that paintings, obviously. So this makes for a good chance for people with little money to collect art. I have told people who say they cannot afford art to collect drawings. One can spend as little as $250 a year, and in a period of ten years have a fine collection of small drawings. Focus on one or two artist you like and collect them. There may come a time when you can buy a painting and when you do you will have a better understanding of it from the drawings. Here are a couple of drawings that are an example of what I am talking about.

Moment of Panic
Moment of Panic
Lithograph A/P
12 inches x 16 inches
Untitled Lino Print
Lino Print
11 inches x 16 inches, 1985





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