The more I dip into my paints and, more recently, mark curves and shadows in charcoal, I’m learning that art is about observation.
In the class I’m taking, I and five other students are sketching nude models. But actually, what we’re doing is observing, noticing light and curves and how parts of the body relate to each other in space. It’s like yoga on paper. And, like yoga, I’m learning that it is in the interpretation that beauty emerges.
I came across an article about Leonardo da Vinci. The great artist and observer of anatomy watched people and wrote his perceptions in notebooks. In one entry, da Vinci’s words describe people with what is considered today to be symptoms of Parkinson’s:
“Those who . . . move their trembling parts, such as their heads or hands . . . without permission of the soul.”
Leave it to da Vinci to interpret so beautifully.