Woman with Her Hand to Her Cheek


As much as I love to draw I would never say it is something that comes naturally to me. Creating a new piece is a challenging and often frustrating experience that only gets easier with practice. When I was in Washington DC recently I visited the National Gallery of Art and wandered through the Drawing in Silver and Gold exhibition. I was left in awe seeing the precision and detail included in the drawings, some of which were only rough sketches. I spent a lot of time wondering if Leonard da Vinci or Raphael had ever erased and redrawn one part of a drawing so much that a hole was worn into the paper, or if they had drawn a portrait so inaccurate that the model would have been offended by the piece.

Amongst all the technical artworks, one tiny minimal piece by John Storrs titled ‘Woman with Her Hand on Her Chin’ (1931) stood out to me the most. There was no shading, only an outline with details such as the pupils and lashes left off the delicate drawing. Eyebrows and hair were displayed as a few simple lines. Once I laid my eyes on this drawing I could not wait to get back to my own sketch book to try and recreate it.

Without any silver or gold to use I sharpened my pencils into thin needles and worked on smooth paper for the first time in a long time. Then, using Nicole Warne’s photoshoot with Elle as a reference, I had my first attempt at creating my own John Storrs. I could never capture the delicacy of ‘Woman with Her Hand on Her Chin’ but, the style really appeals to my love of all things minimal.



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