Nora, the Cincinnati Art Museum

Nora, the Cincinnati Art Museum

Artwork and story by Steve Smith, Drawing Academy graduate

Returning to the Cincinnati art museum, the first Sunday of February, I began this drawing, the second study of Roudolph Rogers, ( 1825 – 1892 ), “Nora”, { Marble }, an opportunity offered museum members and guests who enjoy drawing and are offered the first Sunday of each month the whole museum to study.

Artwork and story by Steve, Drawing Academy student

I wrote a short description of my first drawing, and submitted it to the Online Drawing Academy in January.

I reported that I intended to return to the museum and attempt this second study, hoping to catch more detail of the work by standing nearer. I did move a number of times, as I anticipated I would need to as other viewers passed, and I did not get as far into the study as I had hoped that day.

From home, I have continued the drawing, and through my work and meditations I have not only progressed the drawing, but also have enjoyed the revelation of certain thoughts that did not occur to me initially.

Having enjoyed the wonders of my own daughter, watching her grow, and now seeing her in her adulthood, as I began the same cycle with my grand daughter, the image of the artist’s daughter in contemplation of a butterfly certainly reveals to me both the elegance of his masterful work, turning the stone to such a lovely object as this sculpture, but as well the deeper insight as to his reflections on his daughters life.

Initially, I reported that the age of the child, his daughter, was younger than I had captured with my first sketch, having noticed the fullness of her cheeks. On further consideration, it occurs to me that the artist is seeing well beyond the present, as he contemplates her innocence, and her wonder, as he perhaps anticipates her growing into womanhood, a metamorphic change, not unlike the butterfly. For me, there seem to be some distinct but extremely discreet nuances in the form that allude to both her youth, and eventual maturity.

Regardless of the accuracy of my observations, while drawing I was drawn into reflection, and joyed in the admiration of both the image, and the realization of my own experiences, my daughter, and my admiration of both the sculpture, and the ageless expression of fascination.

Lessons learned. Once I reached the point where I was shading in the butterfly, I was generally satisfied with the work completed. I stitched in the artist’s name, the title of the piece, and signed my own name, the full name I seldom ever use. I had intended to bring her eyes into this second drawing, and though they are seen, they were only a step toward a finished the product I saw in my assessment. I worked a few more areas, then decided that all I was doing was piddling, perhaps toward some good somewhere later after a lot more effort, but a calmer voice inside me was telling me to stop with this piece, rest my eyes, and consider a new subject for another drawing. I may try to draw her again someday, and may just leave her now, in her peace there in the museum, for the pleasure of all who see her.

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Categorized: Art Articles

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Carl Soranno says:

    I really appreciate this submission. Beautifully written and beautifully drawn. You captured in my view the beauty and depth of art. Not a mechanical photorealistic depiction of a subject but the artist’s emotion and thoughts. As I look at your piece I see you there drawing thinking feeling. I am reading Van Gogh’s letters to Theo. A must read and after reading a good number of them and your post; this is what art is all about.

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