A year ago today, we were vacationing in England. One of the many highlights was seeing tons of famous art in many of the best museums in London. While we were there, it struck me that one of the things I love about drawing and painting traditionally is, well… that it’s a tradition that is hundreds of years old (and more if you include primitive art). By taking up a pencil or paintbrush and pushing it around a surface, I am connected to a wonderful part of human history — one that creates and celebrates and does not destroy. A part of history that leaves something positive behind for the future.
One day in particular, we were in the National Gallery and I ambled into this small room not paying complete attention, and upon the wall in low light was a large Leonardo da Vinci cartoon (a cartoon in this case is a full-size preparatory study for a painting). I turned around, looked up and it took my breath away. The emotion was part awe at the beauty of it and part reverence toward his reputation and influence. I’ve always LOVED his drawings. Seeing his sketchbooks in person is always a real treat when they are on display, but there was something more striking about such a large drawing. There was such a PRESENCE about it. Maybe it was because you could see the presence of his hand in the strokes or maybe it was the sheer reality of the work involved in planning a painting that struck me too. As you can see by my new drawing below, I also create preliminary drawings for paintings. So you see, I can say that I have a few things in common with DaVinci! (Indulge me). And that connects me to a tradition which is pretty, pretty cool.
Here’s a new one in the works…
Random thought of the day: I think I’m going to start using “cat” to refer to certain dudes from now on. I like when people used to say that.