Puzzle Detail, Susan Hartnett

February 17, 2006 #1 Winter Grass

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Susan Hartnet, February 17, 2006 #1 Winter Grass. Charcoal drawing. From the Collections of the Tides Institute & Museum of Art.

Look and think about what you see.

Think about what you see in the art work:

• What’s going on in this picture?

Think about the seven elements of art:

color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value

Can you find examples of these elements in any/some/or all of these images?

More about this work.

This work of art is a large contemporary charcoal drawing, “February 17, 2006 #1 Winter Grass,” by artist, Susan Hartnett. Born in 1940 in St. Louis, Missouri, for many years Hartnett has lived part of the year on the coast in Lubec, Maine. The rest of the year she spends in New York City where she has lived for much of her working life. But it is in Lubec and surrounding area that she is able to find plentiful subject matter for her expressive drawings of grasses. She has done hundreds of such drawings, each unique, each capturing subtle and larger differences in type and form of grasses that change with the weather and with the season. Her work has an immediacy as she works quickly to capture grasses in her drawings, each stroke adding to the previous, with a minimum of strokes used, fluid yet purposeful. The use of charcoal allows her to quickly adjust her line, from thick to thin, from dense to light, from clean to smudge. Asian as well as western aesthetic traditions have influenced her work. She writes, “A lot of knowledge of Chinese and Japanese ink painting and calligraphy had to be thoroughly assimilated before the “stroke” could be applied. Large leaves need a supple brush, whereas grass or twigs could be done with strokes of different thicknesses of charcoal. I’ve made charcoal supple.” The drawing was a gift to the Tides Institute by the artist.

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