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  • Per Elof Nilsson Ricklund

Observation through the sketch

Mariano Fortuny

Continuing on previous posts, the first preliminary steps of making a painting.

The first place to start is the soul of the work. Through sketching, visual note taking.

Sketching a way to internalise ideas and impressions.

On these notes the artist can build his vision, it represents its foundation. And should be seen for what it is, part of the process.

Something that has more to do with personal development and searching, rather than with final results.

Will this be seen in the final work. Maybe. hopefully more felt then seen, but it might be one of the hardest things to achieve as an artist. I think many, when viewing art inherently feel it, the energy invested in the work but might not be able to formulate what is being experienced.

How does one then get access to these experiences.

I believe through exposure.

This is where our responsibility of exposing ourselves to challenging pieces within artforms such as painting, sculpture, music, theatre and dance comes in.

By not pushing our exposure beyond shock value or effects we probably won’t challenge our taste to the level where we can enjoy art to its fullest. These experiences in combination with the experiences of life and nature create perspectives and lenses through which we can enrich our lives.

This, only one side of experiencing art, I'd like to see it as a loop. I have meet a good many people who have had a much stronger lens through which they've lived life and experienced nature, and upon meeting art which they’ve never seen before they were already there emphatically to connect on a deeper level.

Let this sink in while looking at some sketches I unearthed recently from the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya’s archive. The studies and observations of Mariano Fortuny.

The value of sketching is much to internalise and become better as a person, testing the limits of feeling the moment. You may experience life when you see a sketch. Directness and energy. The going with the flow, living with mistakes and decisions.

Many who look upon sketches enjoy seeing an unfiltered raw version of what the artist saw. They usually show what he or she fell in love with while making it in that moment.

A great place to see what the artist went through during these first impressions. Experiences that then later are invaluable when investing oneself into more longterm projects.

Remember, the first thing you feel, may also one of the first things you forget.

Besides the sketches by Mariano Fortuny I’d also like to include some other favorits. These to me represent life caught in its essence by the artists.







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