The Art and Intimacy

Vine charcoal on crisp white paper. Even the soft scraping of the mineral on the paper sends thrills of anticipation up and down my spine. Some things in life are blatantly intimate. Medical test results, your underwear, a kiss between a woman and her mate. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone to put the relationship between an artist and her canvas on this list.

Especially this art. A larger than life portrait of my Noah.

To be blunt, Noah is not usually a photogenic man. He tenses up and his usually relaxed demeanor rarely shows through. His face requires motion to bring it to life. Most photos I take of him are full of scowls or awkwardness. So forget him ever sitting still long enough to draw him from life.






Behold, my favorite photo of him. I see that look in his eyes at least a dozen times a day. So it’s probably my favorite face too.

But I don’t think the intimacy of the moment between me, the charcoal, and the paper was all due to the face. When I started the drawing it was 10:30PM and everyone else in the house was sleeping soundly, the only lights on were mine, pointed at my easel.

Silence seeped in from everywhere, and the world narrowed to just me and the paper. Blowing away eraser shavings from the paper felt like a kiss.

It had been so long since the last time I’d started a serious drawing, I’d forgotten how much I loved it. And the reference picture with Noah’s eyes and his smirk staring back at me…I felt like I could just overflow.

Perhaps even sharing this with you is exposing too much intimacy, exposing more about my relationship than you need to hear…but I’m not ashamed of it, and I think more people should experience this kind of intimacy, at least once in their lives.



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