It’s Not About the Drawings

Friday mornings are fast becoming a favorite part of my week.  A few artist friends and I are meeting up downtown K’ville to draw/sketch/paint our little town.  As I mentioned in this post, I feel like I’ve stepped into a little slice of France…or England, or Italy… and I’m giddy to be getting it down on paper.

After one of these Friday morning jaunts to “France”, I met my husband for lunch.  I was on cloud nine from the morning’s drawing and socializing session.  He asked to see my drawings and I found myself saying…”oh, it’s not about the drawings…it’s…it’s…well, it’s the experience of it!!”

And that is true about every drawing or painting I’ve ever done really.  It just isn’t about the final result of a drawing or painting… whether it has leaning lamp posts or straight ones!  It’s about the sounds of early morning, of birds singing in the Factory courtyard, of shop workers coming in and out of their shops saying Good Morning, of lovely chats with a fellow artist or two about life and art, of the look and feel of brick and wrought iron, of beautifully placed iron lamps and bridges, of smells of coffee and pastries wafting from the local coffee shop.  It’s the EXPERIENCE of all this and rendering it in a little drawring (spelling intended) in your sketchbook.  To merely show someone the drawings seems to fall short in communicating the breadth of how I experienced it.

And yet, one can only hope that something of that experience got into the drawing.  Some hint or whisper of what I felt and saw while I sat there, to be inextricably tied up in the lines and colors on the page.  I don’t know. I hope so.

Perhaps what I long for the most is NOT that you experience the same thing I did when you see my drawings, but that you would go out and experience YOUR LIFE through drawing in the same way.

As I sat there drawing the above, I gasped as I drew the wrought iron balconies and the beautiful scroll work that holds them up.  After I explained why I was gasping to my artist friend, Cheryl Powell, she said: “Isn’t it amazing how much we see when we draw, that we might otherwise miss?”

Yes! Yes! and Yes! I’m hoping that as you draw your life, you will experience it in fresh and beautiful ways you might not otherwise.

0 thoughts on “It’s Not About the Drawings

  1. Liz Adams says:

    This is all so true! other artists get it, but I think nonartists think it’s more about making something than about experiencing something! great blogpost, thank you.

  2. freebirdsings says:

    I don’t always show my work to my husband. I pick the ones I think he’ll “get” and they will be the most true-to-life drawings. He will try to understand a wonky picture being my experience but really just can’t. In fact non-artists in general don’t get it which is why it’s so great when you find a group to be with for drawing and painting and such. I am so glad you finally got a few people to come draw your town with you. It will be so much more memorable!

  3. Betsey Wilson says:

    You are so right. The actual drawing is just a souvenir of all the seeing! Until I started making “art”, I never understood what I was failing to notice in the world around me!

  4. Alex Tan says:

    It sure has that European street feel to me. =) Reminds me of the days I was working in Germany definitely. Beautiful work as always Jennifer, and thanks for the comments

  5. Janell Cleveland says:

    I enjoy reading your posts and your sharing of your art so much. I am a ‘new’ artist just discovering sketching and painting. Your post perfectly described the feeling of discovery I have when I sit and sketch. It’s nice to know the feeling is shared. Thanks!

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