Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Drawing Nature Morte

Nature Morte, means literally, nature dead and that is the subject of our weekly art study. We have some wonderful tree branches with dried leaves stubbornly clinging to them and a small bonsai (which is actually alive).

You might not think tree branches would be very inspiring to draw but they're actually quite a fascinating subject. The bark on the branches is quite intricate in texture, pattern and color. The branches themselves, like all things in nature are especially graceful and their growth patterns are created by the sun and wind. So the record of years of weather is preserved in the twists and elegant turns of a tree's branches.

Claudia and I have once again each followed our instinctive way of working. Claudia focusing on line using pencil and markers and I am using charcoal and approaching the subject through value masses.

How amazing that nature and art are so diverse!

We both felt such a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere in the studio as we concentrated on these very ordinary oak branches, explored them and really looked at them in an effort to see them and know them through drawing.

The act of drawing is the heart and soul, the core, of being an artist. Drawing, not just seeing. Artists know and understand the world not just by observing it but by drawing it. They know and understand themselves not just through introspection but through drawing. This is why keeping a sketchbook and drawing throughout their lives is such an obsession for artists.

Painting is a whole other enterprise. Drawing is our first, most basic language as an artist. Drawing is a journey and an exploration. A drawing is not meant to be a finished product but an action, a process, a record of our artist mind working.

Next week we will continue on with our tree branches and our journey to see, know and understand them through drawing.

1 comment:

A.Decker said...

"Drawing is a journey and an exploration."

Aye! I'm always collecting little pieces of..."nature morte"(didn't know it was called that) and cluttering up my studio with it for later study.

Good stuff.