The Art of the Line

Watercolor Pencil on Paper $2000

Watercolor Pencil on Paper


I taught a life drawing workshop this past weekend on the 14th & 15th. Drawing has always been my passion. Drawing a simple line can inpsire me; just watching the line appear from the end of a pencil fascinates me. I think it may have worried my parents seeing me just drawing lines, using up good typing paper. Sixty years later I’m still loving the line and seeing it appear at the end of my charcoal pencil as I move my hand across the paper. Now, those lines form images of what my eyes are seeing, sometimes what is only visible to my eyes. Drawing from life is now a passion – interacting with my subject is inspiring, informative, and energizing. For me my artwork has to have some form of drawing with the lines, either hidden, lost and found edges, or standing out clearly between the fingers of one of my inspiring models.

This past weekend I tried to show my class the value of loving the line. How lines can be portrayed; not only the lines of the human form, but the emotion taking place between model and artist. Interpreted by the viewer the line speaks in a language only the true art lover can understand. Long lines, thin lines, curve lines, smudged lines, crisp lines – drawn on a sheet of paper can tell a story, relate an emotion. Whether my students understood what I was trying to teach them I do not know. I was having fun telling them a little bit of what goes into a work of art, what part drawing plays in creating a piece. All art begins with a drawing, even those splatterings of Jackson Pollock’s were drawings. Drawings in the air, paint dripping from his brush as his hand moved through the air guided by his inner vision. Had he held charcoal to paper we would have see the movement of his hand in the lines that would have filled his canvas. When I’m standing before a Jackson Pollock painting I see the ache of his hand moving through the air, I feel the air move as his arm sweeps the space above the canvas. Just because I paint in a realistic style and my subjects are a bit nostalgic and romantic doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy studying a Picasso or de Kooning drawing. My class was about adding a tool to my student’s tool box of ways of expressing themselves. I hope that’s what they took away.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s