logo, Jonathan Stone Arts
Jonathan Stone

Jonathan Stone


Frankie, pencil, 14 x 17"

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As an artist who is based in Nashville, Tennessee, music is all around me. On this same note, I would compare drawing studies to rehearing for a musical performance. I am constantly practicing, honing, and trying to perfect my ability to capture the human form. When I first began studying artistic anatomy, I would perhaps like one in 20 drawings. (The others would get ripped up or hidden at the back of my sketchbook.) Now it’s more three out of four which is thrilling. It has taken more than 10,000 hours to get good at drawing and even today, it can still be a challenge. However, I love the discipline of it similar to a spiritual practice. 

I love to be very expressive in my paintings and the only way I am able to do this is because the human form is ingrained in me. It is like muscle memory if you will. However, to develop that ability to walk into my studio, sit down, and draw a complete stranger I had to do it on a regular basis. Fortunately every body is different which means I’ll never become bored. Each time I work on my craft it feels just as fresh as the first. 

In this particular study, there is a lot that is intentionally left unfinished from the model’s hair to her feet and the ottoman she sits on. I don’t have a good answer for why I like to leave things undone. If I really thought hard about it, I would go back to my first degree in psychology. I have always been fascinated by the mind and how humans view life. We don’t notice every single detail. If we did our brains would probably explode. Instead, we pick and choose what to focus on. I wanted to allude to this concept by only fleshing out what really matters in the composition. The end result, I hope, is a nice contrast between what is finished and what is not; what really matters and what doesn’t. If you can take the same ‘letting go’ approach to life, it’s a lot more pleasurable.