Passionate about your art / by Jeannine Cook

Life drawing today made me think about a quote I read at the beginning of the year in Artist's Magazine by T. Allen Lawson, a wonderful sensitive landscape painter.  He was quoted as saying that "the depth of your art is in direct proportion to the love of your subject. If you truly understand your subject, your painting will reflect that."

It is so true.  Every time I find myself trying to paint or draw subjects that don't really "turn me on", I later assess the work as less than good.  Perhaps it is because art is an extension of one's inner self, a voice to express one's passions and interests.  It is frequently an unconscious expression, but nonetheless, the knowledge of your subject matter, the experience you have had with it, all feeds into a more powerful and convincing work, whatever the type of art.

Why I thought of this quote today was that we had a new model posing, a good one, but one with whom I had no connection, as yet.  Her poses were interesting, but somehow I felt outside the necessary dialogue with what I was drawing, not caught up in understanding what I was trying to do.  Of course, I left the session irritated with myself, but I then reflected that sometimes, life drawing does not have to be about "love of your subject".  Instead it is just a very good drawing exercice!  So perhaps I need to regard today as working towards future passion to be translated into a good life drawing.