Mission Statement

The Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists is an open and diverse group of artists, collectors and admirers who share a love for the practice and perpetuation of botanical art and illustration with a fond focus on plants in the Rocky Mountain Region.
We encourage and participate in educational outreach, juried and non-juried exhibits, lectures, workshops and regular chapter meetings. The RMSBA is proud to be the very first chapter affiliation of the international organization, the American Society of Botanical Artists.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Drawing a Day is Galloping Towards Us

Let’s get ready, shall we? First of all, what is a drawing? Webster’s Dictionary says:
Draw·ing ˈ(drô-iNG), noun: drawing; plural noun: drawings

1.    a picture or diagram made with a pencil, pen, or crayon rather than paint,  especially one drawn in monochrome.
2.     the art or skill or making pictures or diagrams with a pencil, pen, or crayon.
Enlightened? I’m not so much. The first definition refers to the tools used to create an image. A pencil uses graphite or a variety of media mixed with pigment. A pen uses the media in ink, generally polymers to carry black pigments. A crayon uses a wax medium with colored pigments, but for the sake of Webster’s definition, they’re probably referring to drawings made with single colored pigment in the wax medium.

 Let’s compare that to the word sketch, which Webster’s defines as: a rough or unfinished drawing or painting often made to assist in making a more finished picture.

 File:Michelangelo libyan.jpg
MICHELANGELO Buonarroti Study for the Libyan Sibyl
Chalk on paper, 29 x 21 cm Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Nothing completed, but many things considered, using chalk and a variety of line to create tone

Better now? Right. Not much more enlightenment there, and a fair amount of confusion, because it calls a sketch an unfinished drawing or painting. So what is a painting? For the purposes of this discussion, let’s think of a painting as an image fully rendered realistically in color. Or, more medium limited, an image created in paint. What is paint? Pigment carried in one or more media (supports). And yet, again, these definitions are really more related to media, and I think we can use a better, more contemporary concept not limited by an arbitrary definition about media or states of completion. Let’s be more free, more artistic, more us.

How about: A drawing is an image, created by making marks on a surface, in any medium. It is valued as a preliminary rendition of images to be finished later, a completely rendered image with limited media or tools, or an image with value known to the artist and observer.

That’s better. It’s more realistic, more open, more accepting and therefore more liable to invite those who love to draw to do so, without limits. Hopefully, it invites those who find drawing difficult or irritating to try again, make drawing their own positive event. That means, when March comes and we leap into making a drawing a day, we know that all the strokes we make on a surface feed us, and generally, are intriguing to viewers.

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