Taking a Line for a Walk
Posted on June 29, 2018
Later, promising American art and architecture students like Paul Phillipe Cret, Augustus Saint-Guadens, and John Singer Sargent would compete to attend the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Upon victory, they would experience the history and places that in turn helped shape their interpretations of the built world and ignited a new “American Renaissance”. Others like Samuel Chamberlain, discovered the world abroad though the American Field Service and later with an AFS scholarship would study etching drypoint techniques with masters of his day. His later documentation of his surroundings would bring these influences to generations to follow. My own passion for sketching was learned and reinforce in a similar way during a time of study abroad, where I first experienced some of the places that would still continue to inspire to this day. Exploring the history of the south of France, Spain, and Italy would change the way I thought of architecture and open my eyes to a world that went beyond the academic musings on the day. These journeys led to later studies that would shape the direction of the style with which I wanted to practice architecture. Whether measured and detailed, or quick and figural, there is something about the act of sketching – the connection of eye to hand, of pencil to paper – that ingrained the place into your memory. To me, revisiting these old sketches bring back the excitement of seeing the places for the first time, and seeing the sketches of others makes me long to return, or visit those places I have not yet been. Constantly, I am reminded of the line from the artist Paul Klee, “Drawing is taking a line for a walk”, and there is no better line to make than drawing what you see while on your walk. Recent travels by Jim Lenahan, as a part of the ICAA Rome Drawing tour, and Michael Stolle in his first trip to Europe to explore England and Scotland, have reinvigorated their passion for drawing as they have returned eager to share what they discovered in their studies and wanderings.
“You can’t do sketches enough. Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh.”
– John Singer Sargent