|9/3/20 Maple Leaf neighborhood|
Years ago, Don Colley, one of my artist heroes, talked about how he begins by looking for the one thing that will make the whole drawing – the thing he’s going to focus on to get right. At the time, he was referring to his life-drawing practice, and he showed examples of what he meant by that (I wish I had saved the link to the blog post in which he discussed this): The light curving around the edge of a muscle; the indentation in the hip that indicates the pressure of the model’s weight against the platform – they were subtleties that showed the depth of both the artist’s observational skills and the drawing skills to convey those observations. His comments stayed with me and made me realize that even a life-drawing sketch can be so much more than practice in the hands of a master.
I don’t think he used the term “story,” but I look for the same thing when I begin a sketch by asking: What is the “story” here? What is the one thing I want to get right so that the viewer understands what I saw? In this case, it was the tiny rectangular tunnel of light on this backlit street.