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NYSS requires all persons entering the building (Gallery visitors are exempt) to complete the daily sign-in form: CLICK HERE
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Student Perspective: Pat Brentano on the Virtual Drawing Marathon with Graham Nickson & Guests

The Fall 2020 Virtual Drawing Marathon with Graham Nickson & Guests was a gift to myself. It was a reawakening, a professional kick in the head.  Cezanne said,  “There are two things in the painter, the eye and the mind. Each of them should aid the other.” For two solid weeks, in my garage, my mind and my eyes joined together challenging my pictorial intelligence. Just when you think you know something, you find out you don’t know enough or you remember what you have forgotten. Learning to be a professional artist is a lifelong endeavor. You must have the courage and stamina to rethink your work, wipe out your drawings and start again many times. Although we were working solo and communicating via the internet I never felt alone. The instructors made sure we connected to each other during the breaks and they were available the entire time via breakout rooms on our zoom. With much appreciation and enthusiasm for the New York Studio School, I am sharing the knowledge and advice given to me by Dean Graham Nickson, Fran O’Neill and Charity Baker.

  1. The negative space around the figure stands for something.
  2. The image should carry the narrative – figurative meaning and pictorial meaning.
  3. There is no such thing as a background – it is a conversation between shapes.
  4. Keep away from symbols by looking hard.
  5. The drawing should be flat and spatial at the same time – duality of space.
  6. The whole paper is crucial – to touch the edge of the paper is powerful.
  7. Marks are relational – let them tell you what you see.
  8. One cannot capture nature only your experience – think through your eyes.
  9. Do many small compositions before starting the larger piece.
  10. Look for pathways into forms – formal connections – surface geometry.
  11. A line has two sides.
  12. Let air and weight come into the drawing.
  13. Don’t make everything busy – be subtle but dramatic.
  14. Be empathetic to the experience.
  15. Light or form, make a choice.
  16. Don’t fall in love with details – find synergy.
  17. You can work from direct observation and yet do radical things.
  18. Try to create a metaphor and a presence – drawing has description and metaphor.
  19. Let your imagination fill in the experience.
  20. Look for poetry in drawing- have courage in your convictions.

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