How They Feel About Drawing

Writers are at the forefront of those who appreciate drawing. D.H. Lawrence, for example, once noted, " Art is a form of supremely delicate awareness meaning at oneness, the state of being at one with the object." But artists themselves have much to say as well. Here are some wonderful quotes from artists about the artistic process:

The long, arduous and often painful struggle in seeking truth and beauty requires not only a deep and passionate love for art, but also a deep and passionate love for life.

—Harry Sternberg, Realistic/Abstract Art (Pittman Pub., 1959)

The goal of the artist is the achievement of the truly creative spirit. It must be earned through discipline and work. Among other disciplines, drawing is basic.

—Harry Sternberg

I do not like the idea of happiness—it is too momentary—I would say I was always busy and interested in something—interest has more meaning than the idea of happiness.

There is nothing—no color, no emotion, no idea—that the true artist cannot find a form to express.

The process, not the end work, is the most important thing for the artist.

To fill a space in a beautiful way—after all everyone has to do just this—make choices in his daily life, when only buying a cup and saucer.

—Georgia O'Keeffe

Care should be taken to not have more than one center of interest. Extremely important too is the leaving of white paper. The parts of a drawing that are left white, or in other words, not rendered, are just as necessary as are the parts that are drawn.

These—artists of the world—are akin to the scientists only in that their effort is to bring things near, but even there they part, for the scientist must need to use the telescope or the microscope, whereas the artist brings them near in sympathy.

The Art of Drawing

Here are Frederick Frank's "10 Commandments" of drawing:

Source: The Awakened Eye, (New York: Vintage/Random House, 1979).

1. You shall draw everything and every day.

2. You shall not wait for inspiration, for it comes not while you wait but while you work.

3. You shall forget all you think you know and, even more, all you have been taught.

4. You shall not adore your good drawings and promptly forget your bad ones.

5. You shall not draw with exhibitions in mind, nor to please any critic but yourself.

6. You shall trust none but your own eye, and make your hand follow it.

7. You shall consider the mouse you draw as more important than the content of all the museums in the world, for ...

8. You shall love the ten thousand things with all your heart and a blade of grass as yourself.

9. Let each drawing be your first: a celebration of the eye awakened.

10. You shall worry not about "being of your time," for you are your time, and it is brief.

The eye that sees is the I experiencing itself in what it sees. It becomes self aware and realizes that it is an integral part of the great continuum of all that is. It sees things such as they are.

—Frederick Frank

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