Suzi (k00kaburra) wrote,

Art and Observation

The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.     -- Henry Miller

That quote was in my day planner today, and it got me thinking about observation and drawing.

I still remember the moment of wonder I felt when I first realized that there was brown in the stem of a flower petal.  All my life, I'd been drawing flowers with green stems, just like you do in grade school with crayons.  Flower petals on top, long green stem.  But I was in Yosemite, sitting on a chunk of granite trying to sketch the Indian paintbrush in front of me, and I suddenly knew that there was red in the shadows, and where the sunlight hit the stem directly there was yellow.  Then the yellow spread into the centers of the flower petals, which weren't just read but also orange and red-orange and even magenta.  Then there was even a tiny bit of purplish-blue when the fuzz of the stem was visible.  I rarely think of the surface of a plant as fuzzy!

Drawing really forces me to look at an object intensely.  When I was in Florence, I might zoom in on a statue's torso or on the brushstrokes depicting folds of fabric in an oil painting, but I would get lost in the piece I was looking at.  If my hands were not busy drawing, I would have reached forward to touch the marble or the canvas, because in order to really see something there has to be physical interaction, too.

Man, I am really missing my pencils and paints right now...
Tags: art, drawing, flowers, quotes

  • Lazy days in the house, due to Vine.

    Last month I made the mistake of ordering a few too many books from Amazon Vine, so I have spent most of this week holed up in the house, reading as…

  • Good Week: Amazon Vine

    So as you may or may not know, I've been reviewing for Amazon's Vine program for a while now. (Since roughly May 2009.) Every month, Amazon…

  • Stress, illness, or ennui?

    Living under shelter in place for two months has led to a general malaise in our household. Every couple days I feel a little off, with a headache or…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.