Draw From Life:
This new project is in partnership with Prisoners Express
of the Durlands Alternative Library affiliated with Cornell University
(also a partner with Center For Transformative Action).
A invitation was sent to 2000 inmates throughout the United States
to be part of the art project with An Open Window and Prisoners
Express. The first 200 individuals who signed up for the project
will be sent an art curriculum. This art curriculum emphasis three
main points for learning how to draw:
1. Draw From Life
the main complaint for
this in prison is that there is no life in here!
But what are ways of looking that address this basic problem?
2. Develop alternative ways of seeing the world
rather than seeing the world as objects. This
alternative way of seeing includes the exploration of light
and shadow. Figure 1 is a drawing exercise by James Bennet.
The fact that the "object" is an apple is not important.
The primary focus is the relationship between light and shadow.
Finding other sources of creating a drawing (rather than only
relying upon what it Is about), creates a more
complicated and richer drawing. Most of the drawings that
I see in prison are primarily concerned about making something
look like something. To an experienced artist, this is not
as important as the other elements of a drawing. What are
Figure 2 is a drawing sketch that I did of a
Greek sculpture in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I was not interested in features: the eyes, etc. but wanted
to develop the portrait based upon the planes of the face.
Many of the drawings that I see of prison portraits that are
done by copying photos do not convey the artist's understanding
of these planes of the face. Notice the five planes on the
forehead....these five planes are the structure of anyone's
forehead, no matter what race. Learn structure before the
details......bake the cake before putting on the decorations.....
3. Learn from art history!!! Big Mike, Leo, Kathe
Kollwitz, and the rest of the bunch did not rely upon formulas
and easy solutions for their work. LOOK at the great artists!!!!
They are great for a reason!
The link to the prisoners express is: prisonerexpress.org
Or write to Gary Fine, at Durlands Alternative Library, Anabel Taylor
Hall, Ithaca, New York, 14853
or email me at email@example.com
If there is someone you know in prison who would like to be part
of this art project, please contact Treacy at firstname.lastname@example.org
or write to:
Treacy/Durlands Alternative Library
Anabel Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853