Understanding is slow to form, but when understanding is accomplished, it is resilient, and consistent. My favorite painting of Leonardo da Vinci's is his unfinished St. Jerome. As with all things I love at first sight, I did not immediately comprehend the reason for my instantaneous love. It is the overall organization of the canvas I relish so much. Here is an incomplete list of reasons for my visceral enjoyment of St. Jerome: (1) the rotation of lion's tail mimicking the overall rotational dialogue of the entire image, (2) the intriguing negative space between Jerome and the lion, (3) the thrust of Jerome's outstretched arm being parallel to the lion's torso, (4) the semi-circle of the lion's mouth ensuring consistency in rotation, scaled small to large, (5) all the rotation is in contrast to the central pin of the composition, firmly set by the vertical thrust of the St. Jerome's right leg. I enjoy this image deeply, relentlessly, with great satisfaction. My visceral connection, both emotional and intellectual, to Leonardo's St. Jerome is because of its compositional structure. Acknowledging Leonardo's accomplishment is an important insight in my journey to making my own work more satisfying. I can draw form as will as Leonardo, but I continue to labor to fully comprehend compositional structure. I want my art to be fully satisfying, intellectually and emotionally satisfying. I want my viewers to fall in love with my works of art at first sight, just as I did with the painting St. Jerome.
Yesterday's drawings are efforts in the right direction, toward full compositional satisfaction.
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