Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Metroheads - Drawing is an Act of Love

Drawing is an act of love.


You and I ask: aren't people getting annoyed with me drawing them?

Drawing is an act of love. I'm certainly not the first one to think and feel that, you must feel it too. Because, when you draw someone, you are not neutral. You may look neutral but you aren't. If you have to draw your ennemy, or somone you think you really do not like, I'm sure your feelings for this person will be changed afterwards. There is compassion too in the act of drawing.
This hooded young man, I don't really feel threatened by his somehow dark look, it's only that people always should take care about other people's privacy and feelings. The hodded guy, when I have finished painting him, I love him. I mean, I like his dark eyes, shadowed by the hood, I like his expression which is a bit defensive, I like the way he protects himself with his clothes. I like the way he wrapped the scarf around his neck and the way he is fiddling with his cell phone all the time. I like his big comfy jacket and his ample trousers.

I like to think that all these feelings do not stay inside me but float out into the air. I'm quite sure of that. There is a relationship betweet the model and the painter. Even if the model doesn't know he/she is being painted.

Often I think that "my" metroheads just pretend that they do not notice me drawing them, like I pretend to read the schedule over the door when I draw them. There is generosity in the model and in me, we have an exchange here.

I like to think that the model lets herself/himself willingly be explored by me, and even if I cannot show him/her the drawing, - the "translation" of our relationship onto paper - I tend to think that we part with each other with sympathie and warmth wrapped around us:)

Vert anglais clair, vert emeraude, jaune transparente
Bleu cobalte, magenta rose, rouge lacque de garance, jaune transparent, bleu outremer
Vert emeraude
Copyright ©estandrea - All rights reserved

29 comments:

Heidi Alfonzo said...

I agree with you completely on this. I don't really draw, but once in Paris, when I was 17, I was drawn by this handsome bohemian painter from Spain. That moment meant so much to me. It's like he was seeing me with eyes that were almost out of this world. I still have his portrait and I look ageless and in peace.

yvette said...

you are so right, your attention, your pencil changes in strikes of love. The energy which you can't see is at an other level felt as love. I cannot say what I mean in english. Be sure you give away lots of love and be sure it wil be received.You're such a beautiful person Andrea!

Cestandrea said...

Heidi, I think it is the same feeling for both, the one who draws and the one who is drawn, the act of drawing transcends both..

Cestandrea said...

Yvette, I understand every word you say:), in fact, this is something to be more felt than said:)

sukipoet said...

Andrea, this is so beautiful and beautifully said. You must save this and use it when you write up descriptions of what it is you do. I heard a brief something that told about how cancer patients in the hospital were drawn by an artist the hospital hired. The cancer patients felt loved and looked at at a time when maybe their own loved ones didnt want to look. Heidi describes so beautifully too what it feels like to be seen in this special way. That you love people shouts out from all these wonderful sketches you show us. Thank you Andrea for your words and drawings.

Cestandrea said...

Suki, thank YOU for your insights and great comments always, which are so motivating. And yes, I can so imagine that for a cancer patient it would feel good to be drawn. We artists do not judge, at least not while we are drawing or painting:) we just look and catch the love and throw it back in a way.

Cestandrea said...

PS for SUKI: It is a good idea of you for me to save these words for my "artist's statement", as I never have the words ready when asked:)
love
Andrea

Kim said...

Oh Andrea, I think you are so right. While I am not a real sketcher, like you, I do gain impressions of people and my faces kind of pull from others, too. I know you like to sketch without being noticed, but in my imagination people would be honored to know they were one of your choices. By sketching you look at details and when you begin to look at people at their core, they are all good and honorable. The not so good parts, are surface features and ego driven aspects of a personality.

I also agree fully with Suki, these words are full of incredible insight which would work so well when you present Metroheads.

Andrea, this is a beautiful and insightful post. Thank you so much for sharing this with us all...we have a lot to learn about what happens when you get on the Metro each day...it changes you and the people around you in a profound way and in a way which is never known.

Keep on with the Metroheads. I think you are changing the world with them, Andrea!

Jess said...

I used to go to a portrait class and we'd notice that by the end of the session, our perception of the person sitting would have changed to that of beauty, no matter how can I say 'unattractive' they seemed at the beginning.x

Cestandrea said...

KIm and Jess: I really find it so interesting and true what you both say about the core of people and the unattractive or not so good parts being "surface features and ego driven aspects of the personality". This is exactly what I feel once I have finished drawing someone. At the beginning I may have found it ridiculous, the way a woman looks addictively at her cell phone, but once I have finished drawing her, this feeling is gone, and there is only her "real" face on my paper and in my head...

artist Mike said...

Andrea and Sukipoet I worked for four years helping to treat cancer patients, it was nice talking to the patients, because they had to come every day or so for their treatment, I wish now that I had had the courage to draw their portraits, two of the doctors I worked with were also artists but I dont think they ever drew their patients, if only someone had suggested it then, we could have all sat drawing together, right through our lunch hour.

~Babs said...

A beautiful post, and beautiful paintings, Andrea!
I read Kim's post first, where she is talking about this post of yours,,,I left a really long comment there, but much of it fits here also.
I'd think people would feel extremely flattered to realize that you were drawing them. Make them feel 'accepted' and 'worthy' of your time and talents. 'Welcomed' into your world,,,,therefore loved.
Beautiful post Andrea!

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

I found this all very interesting.
First looks are very seldom what a person is all about. Getting to know them by watching or getting to know them better always makes them seem much better then that first glance. Beauty isnt always on the outside either. What a gift you have to do this daily.

Kim said...

Andrea, in all the excitement about this post, I forgot to say how much I love the art you are showing here. The new Metroheads are wonderful and I adore the color splashes! They are fantastic, as always.

Thank You Again!

katie jane said...

Interesting concept. Kind of reminds me of the early American Indians refusing to allow photographs to be taken of them because they were afraid of the photographer "stealing their spirit". I guess the model and the artist do share something between each other.

Dianne said...

Dear Andrea, thanks so much for writing about this! The discussions you have started have been incredibly interesting! I have never thought to draw people while travelling, I always felt it was an intrusion and now you have changed that thought! I will definitely have a go.
I have always felt uncomfortable in a life drawing class, I feel so much for the model keeping so still for a long time. To me it is a torture, I once sat for the class when the model didn't arrive.
Everybody seems to just go off in their own space and they seem to forget how long the model has been posing. I think I am too sensitive, I just breathe in what others are feeling where-ever I am! This is not always useful!
Love the colours on your paintings.

Cestandrea said...

HELLO TO EVERYONE WHO COMMENTED SO NICELY:
I'll respond later to your sweet comments, oh time,
love
Andrea

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I, too, agree. Creating a likeness of another person on paper is an act of love.

I was surprised the first time I discovered that some had drawn me. And, I felt honored that she had chosen to put my likeness on a sheet of paper.

Martine said...

All these feelings do not stay inside you but floate into your paintings and drawings. Thats why they're so lively and full of love.
Without love there is no real art.

Cestandrea said...

Mike: I agree, I think it takes a lot of courage to suggest to cancer patients to draw their portraits. It's really a more courageous and giving act than just sitting in the metro and "steel" someone's portrait, or draw it with some kind of tacit agreement...

Cestandrea said...

Babs, thanks so much for your thoughtful comments which makes me think about the fact that I would be a little shy to show someone I drew their portrait, cause sometimes it really just catches their expression, not the actual "face", I mean it's not like taking a photograph. But it would be interesting to know how they would react:)

Cestandrea said...

Cris, what you say is so wise! How many time I met someone and thought that the person seemed silly, or unfriendly, or haughty, or cynical. Everything changes when you get to know the person better! These are precious lession life tells us, I guess!

Cestandrea said...

Kim, thanks so much for your comments on my blotches, I have many of those cause I experiment with watercolour all the time.
But just splotches at the moment:)

Cestandrea said...

Katie Jane, I wonder what the native Americans said about painting their portrait. I think, photography can seem so much more "sneeky" than drawing.

Cestandrea said...

Dianne, I know exactly what you mean, having experienced that in life drawing classes too. But then I guess the model, at the same time, experiences something special and wonderful, her body being explored in a very detached yet loving way...

Cestandrea said...

Nick, thanks so much for your visit, and I like the word "my likeness":)

Cestandrea said...

Martine, you are so right, and I think art therefore is conciliative.

Peter J. Crowley said...

This approach is very similar to how I photograph. It is my credo that ever image I make is a self portrait by seeing this way your creations are a loving exploration. An artist statement from 2001 enjoy pjc
"The roll of the photographer is that of a voyeur, never reaching his subject's soul, But for brief instances when the subject's heart is offered, only to be interpreted and re-created with a cross breeding of the image makers own soul."
January 22, 2001 © Peter J. Crowley

tammy vitale said...

Andrea - playing catch up with your posts - had to stop here (time, time, time) but so enjoy your metroheads. More, tho, I love your musings about them: the cat, the cat's person, the young man with guitar case, the crowds...and loving your model. What an amazing thought - perfect for this time of year! Thanks for visiting and thanks for all of your creativity (love "Tango"!)