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Naturalists and Drawing

One of the special things about drawing, as a medium, is its versatility. The history of drawing is not limited to fine art, but reaches into architecture, design and science, and more. The Naturalists of the 19th century were simultaneously scientists, explorers, and artists. They relied on drawing to record their findings, and interpret their results. The process of creating these drawings and diagrams often involved close, intimate and durational observation. I often wonder how the process of drawing effected the understanding of the subject matter. Can a special or specific kind of knowledge or understanding be gained by this kind of close observation, in comparison to that gained by indirect observation?

Botanical Illustration by Vishnupersaud from mid 1800's
Indian artist commissioned by British Imperialist explorers and naturalists because of his extraordinary painting technique. 

Franz Andreas Bauer (1758 - 1840)
One of the first botanists to create illustrations with the use of a microscope.
Francis Masson (1741 -1805) 
Masson was the first "plant hunter" for Kew gardens, discover over 1700 new species on his various expeditions.  
William Sykes (1790 -1872)

Alexander von Humboldt, Prussian Naturalist, (1769 –1859)
Alexander von Humboldt, Prussian Naturalist, (1769 –1859)
Alexander von Humboldt, Prussian Naturalist, (1769 –1859)
John Ruskin was an interdisciplinary figure, combining writing, art and architectural criticism, travel writing and philosophy with drawing and watercolor.

John Ruskin, English art critic and thinker (1819-1900)

John Ruskin, English art critic and thinker (1819-1900)

Panel Discussion on the Role of Drawing in Contemporary Art

detail from "Imperfect Barrier: Tied" 2014
Mira O'Brien
on view at 68projects

Join us on Saturday afternoon at 68projects in Charlottenburg for a special panel discussion on the role of drawing in contemporary art. Is drawing still important? With the rise of digital media, what advantages might it still offer?

We will seek to answer the question:

Come and hear Mira O'Brien*, Kandis Williams and Tom Anholt discuss this and more questions in our artist talk.

* Mira is the founder/instructor of the Berlin Drawing Room - and obviously taking the pro-drawing side of the argument!

The discussion will occur in the context of the group exhibition:

Person, Place or Thing: Works on Paper From 51 Artists

15 November 2014 – 10 January 2015

Fasanenstr. 68
10719 Berlin

Panel Discussion and Reception: Saturday, December 20, 3pm

Find a link to a map here:

Naturalist drawing
To see images on more drawing by Naturalists, visit this follow up post: "Naturalists and Drawing"

Experiences and Artwork from Mixed Media/ Fall 2014

See some of the colorful and creative work made by the Fall Mixed Media class! Below is documentation from collages and also final projects. 
** The next Mixed Media Workshop starts March 1, 2015. Sign up now!

Drawing with Body Movement/ Mixed Media Fall 2014

For this class of the Mixed Media Workshop we used body movement as a drawing technique. After an invigorating warm-up exercise, led by student and dancer Marina, we were ready to start! See the process in the pictures below. We used the entire range of motion of the body to create marks, resulting in abstract process based works.