Reflection on Observational Drawing and Painting / by Sean Oswald

One aspect of my artistic practice is drawing and painting from life. For over seven years this practice has become the consistent through line that has grounded my work in it's many outputs. 

Drawing and painting from life has revealed to me the posture of an observer and this observational position has generously unfolded mysteries to me. These mysteries have come from faithfully and methodically translating, interpreting, describing, expressing, and being with objects in reality. There is a trust that developed in the practice of this discipline. It provides a trellis to allow my particular voice to grow and take shape. In the skin of a plum is a galaxy and on the forms of the face is a rolling hill. In the stillness and quiet-ness of observation and then drawing I am taught to do. There is a cohesiveness to thinking an acting The marks are a map or tracing of the minds engagement. Colors are the decision of the heart or evidence of trained intuition. By being still to perceive you are slowly drawn still. Stillness is now a part of you and is in your bones. That stillness translates to the work and appears quiet, but it holds a loud reverberation. The pieces have something to say and now that someone has seen these still observed and translated objects on paper it now has the ability to teach us to see them in our daily lives.