The Towering Pine

 
 Master copy of Shishkin Tree

Master copy of Shishkin Tree

 

The wildness of nature is a welcome counterpoint to a city-dweller. This graphite work is a copy I carefully drew from a master drawing by Russian artist Ivan Shiskin. The original is even more beautiful than mine. Not a single leaf shape is repeated in the entire tree. There is a full range of values on a gray scale, and I needed the entire spectrum of 8b, 6b, 4b, 2b, and h drawing pencils to capture it. Perhaps the towering pine in the drawing is appealing because the tree is untamed nature and the drawing, an embodiment of precision and control.

 Branch with Double Shadow

Branch with Double Shadow

This is a drawing of my own. It is a branch of fig ivy near our home. I was fascinated by the intricate double shadow. Studying master drawings has helped me improve my own.

The theme of this year's newsletters is painting and drawing with the masters. I continue my full-time studies with Deborah Paris and feel that I am growing by leaps and bounds. This month I discovered Russian artist Ivan Shiskin who lived during the Golden Age of Russian art: 1860-1920. During this period classical art flowered in Russia. Shiskin portrayed the magnificent landscape of his mother land. Tchaikovsky created his beloved "Swan Lake" and "The Nutcracker Suite," and Tolstoy penned "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina." It was an exciting time for the arts--just as it is now.

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts and my new-found friend, Ivan Shiskin, with you.

-Mallory