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Norman Bean DRAWINGS OF ITALY
Graphite on paper is all about the values. Some artists view drawing as a quick depository of visual ideas, or a preliminary step in the creation of a larger or more complicated work. Norman has elected to create graphite on paper drawings as complete works of fine art, like painting with graphite.
His thing is to create an image that is everything a photo is not: Purposefully creating depth and detail from a play of contrasts of surface textures and reflectivity of absorbed and reflected light; embedding shadows with subtle images and details; drawing dramatic perspectives from unusual vantage points.
Norman was born in Pennsylvania in 1950, raised in El Paso, Texas. And, after wandering California, Arizona, Texas and Georgia landing in Austin, Texas in 1980. Norman's parents insisted on a rounded education of music, 2-D and 3-D artistic expression, reading, writing, math, and mechanical reasoning with real world application. The arts were important to his Mother, solving problems and fixing things were important to his Father.
Grade school and high school provided many well versed music and art teachers whose instruction was reinforced with private music lessons at home and summer painting and drawing classes at the El Paso Museum of Art. At the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) art classes brought together elements of abstract and realism, with various mediums and techniques that became the basis of Norman's artistic endeavors.
A 'Study Abroad' tour to Italy with the Texas State University Art Department In 2008 opened Norman's eyes to graphite on paper as fine art. Seeing and experiencing Renaissance art helped Norman to understand his own work in a new way.