Friday, February 23, 2007

never stop learning

I just bought the Winter 2007 issue of American Artist Drawing Magazine and once again it has inspired me. It never fails - they usually show an artist from the past - in this issue, Jean-August-Dominique Ingres (no wonder people just refer to him as that a moniker or what?!?)

Drawing Magazine shows his graphite drawings, one dating from 1809 that shows me again the longevity of graphite pencil drawings (I think some Dürer drawings survive that date from the late 1400s- early 1500s). Except for the Napoleonic era clothing styles, the Ingres drawings look like they could have been drawn just yesterday.

The article includes some great quotes on drawing by are two of my favorites:

"Draw for a long time before thinking of painting. When one builds on a solid foundation, one sleeps in peace."

... and,

"Always have a sketchbook in your pocket, and note down with the fewest strokes of the pencil the objects that strike you, if you do not have time to indicate them entirely. But if you have leisure to make a more exact sketch, seize upon your subject lovingly, envisage and reproduce it in all its forms, so that it may be lodged in your head, incrusted there, as your own property."

As I turned the pages of the magazine, I was pleasantly surprised to a see a portrait of a little girl that looked very much like some of my pencil portraits. Not only the style, but especially the way the background was done, was so much like my work. The artist is John C. Babin. I looked to see if I could find more of his art on the Internet, but I was unsuccessful. I'm sure he'll need to have a website now that the magazine has come out. What a thrill it must be to see your artwork in the pages of a major art magazine like that!

This issue also contains an article on How To Draw Arms (sometimes magazines will have how to draw hands, but this is the first time I saw how to draw arms!; Depicting Land & Sea, and Secrets of Renaissance Underdrawings. I feel so privileged to see historical drawings in any way I can.

I really like American Artist Drawing Magazine. It is the only art magazine that seems to value drawing. In painting magazines, pencil drawing is rarely seen or mentioned, as if it's not important. Drawing Magazine continually maintains the position that drawing is the most important base of fine art. The magazine comes out 4 times a year, and each issue is $8.99, which seems so pricey for a magazine, but there is so much value in each issue it's well worth it if you're interested in learning more about drawing.

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