"When one is inspired to paint or draw a subject, that intense feeling seems, at times, fleeting. However, in order to paint an idea, one must hold onto that elusive vision if one hopes to bring it to fruition. Even more important than the skill and focus required to manifest a visual concept is a diligence to stay with the beauty and not slip into a mundane rendering of the subject. Depth of understanding cannot come without this desire to delve beyond casual impressions to the underlying essence of reality. The success of the attempt directly reflects how well the artist understands her subject; and in this intimate relationship, the ordinary world can be lifted into a magical place where paint and line not only represent life but appear to be life itself."
Sherrie McGraw is recognized as one of America's foremost artists and teachers. Her early education took her to the Art Students League of New York where she later was hired as a drawing and painting instructor. Her work has received many awards from prestigious New York art organizations, such as the Salmagundi Club and the National Arts Club, and has been included in a number of shows in major museums throughout the country, including the Butler Institute of American Art where she had a major retrospective in 2014. Its Board of Trustees recently awarded her their highest award—the Medal of Honor for lifetime achievement in American Art. McGraw joins a shortlist of distinguished recipients that includes Louise Nevelson, Leo Castelli, and Thomas Hoving.
For McGraw, teaching is still a valuable part of her career as an artist and she continues to lecture for art institutions such as the Portrait Society of America, Brigham Young University, the Art Students League of New York and the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where she was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2010. A gifted writer, she has made significant contributions to several books on Nicolai Fechin, written by Russia’s leading expert, Galina Tuluzakova; she has authored her own instructional book—The Language of Drawing
—which is now considered by many to be the definitive book for understanding the knowledge that all good draftsmen share.
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