The Art of Drawing

The Art of Drawing

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Colombian artist Gloria Ortiz-Hernández’s drawings and sculptures have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Her work is in the permanent collections of a number of institutions including The Museum of Modern Art (NY), The Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University (MA), Art Museums Cambridge (MA), The Morgan Library (NY), The Menil Drawing Institute and Study Center (TX ), and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MA). Her work is also in private collections throughout the United States and in Basel, Switzerland, Sao Paolo, Brazil, and Bogota, Colombia. She currently has a drawing (Plate/Shift #10) on view at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City.

Cut Loose #3
oil pastel, pencil, colored pencil
and charcoal on Fabriano paper
22” x 30”

See her work in WTP Vol. VIII #9

“There is no ‘story’ in this work, no reliance on nature, no human figure. The source is from within.

Each gesture, each mark, has to be sought, each form to be discovered. Through unwavering attention, the artist begins to see, to abandon familiar notions, to accept—without hindrance and free of prejudice—the image as it comes. Because doubt is always present and false starts happen, the work is made slowly. While the attention of the artist is tightly engaged with the emerging purpose of the drawing, the materials speak as well. Materials help establish the image, they give it form and, in doing so, afford substance to the feeling and speak for it. Fine powdered materials such as pigment and charcoal delight when they ‘fly’ and fall on to the paper, suggesting their own displacement. The density and creamy consistency of oil pastel, on the other hand, demands absolute meticulousness because both during and after application it remains wet and slippery. The pencil, a frank and simple instrument, is capable of creating complex, deep, and dark tones that surprise and instruct. It is an irreplaceable instrument.

…In a drawing, the support (the paper) must offer the adequate surface and the precise size that corresponds to the weight and force of the image. Misjudging the size and weight of the paper will distort the content, rendering it either too strong or too weak. Although the materials and the support are at the service of the drawing, they also have an identity of their own, complete and autonomous. Nonetheless, it is important that they surrender this identity when necessary, that they sacrifice themselves to the work. Only when they function in harmony do they make the content clear and unambiguous to the artist, and, later on, to the viewer….In the act of working on a drawing or a sculpture, the gesture is short, defined, and austere. Darkness and its counterpoint, extreme light, are often present. The marks are economical and straightforward: they expand without exaggerating; they do not preen, preach, or pretend; they persuade without argument, and reduce without diminishing.”

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Courtesy of the artist and the Anita Rogers Gallery

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