Sunday, April 28, 2019
Energizing. Frustrating. Life-Changing.
O, M, double G—the exquisite sketchbooks of M Louise Stanley, a few of which I saw on exhibit last Friday at the Richmond Art Center in Richmond, CA. Her exhibit, “Faces Without Noses,” only runs through this May 17, 2019, but some of her sketchbook spreads can be found here.
Viewing the exhibit filled me with such energy that I rushed home and created the image above, based on one of her drawings. What she wrote below on her web site gave me full permission to imitate her work:
“In 1983, I received my first National Endowment for the Arts Grant and spent nine weeks in Europe beginning in London moving on to France, Spain, Italy and Greece. With very little research under my belt and no language skills, I followed the grand tour blindly trying to make sense of it all. One day while standing in front of Giotto's 'Death of Saint Francis' it hit me that as long as I was looking at a painting, drawing from a painting, or just plain painting, I was home and in the best company. It was on that first
sketchbooking habit. Having a sometimes demanding day job is not an excuse. Same with having just moved half a country away from the state I lived in for sixty-plus years. No excuses, Suzanne!
This exhibit feels life-changing. As Michelangelo is said to have said to a student, “Draw Antonio, draw Antonio, draw and do not waste time.” I’ve gotta step up my game. Regular sketchbooking--and yes, imitating other artists sometimes--points the way.
I met Sally forty years ago when I was twenty and she was the one in her sixties. I was a waitress at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant on...