“To fall into the exploration of a subject
is to fall in love with the world,
and that is the quality that’s present in great drawings.
To fall in love is to get it right.”


A Conversation about Art and Community
By Andrew Rush, 2011, The Drawing Studio, Inc.

This book is a compilation of essays and drawings by Andrew Rush written over ten years for the periodic calendars published by The Drawing Studio. It contains informal conversations that attempt to answer questions posed by many students about drawing as the study of visual intelligence by people from all walks of life.

The purpose of this book is to introduce anyone with an interest in visual languages to the role that the practice of drawing can offer us, both as an antidote that reconnects with the beauty of the visual world around us, as well as a curriculum for learning how to participate in this vast domain of visual literacy as an essential life skill in the 21st century.

Quotes from The Nature of Drawing
“I can look at a figure drawing and tell whether the drawer sees the model as a thing, separate from its environment, or as an embodied spirit, a part of the whole, which I sometimes call ‘the landscape.’”

“I want to feel the ground the model is standing upon, the air (s)he is breathing, the thickness, or heat, or coolness of the day, the pressure of gravity pushing upon the hip, and even the beauty and color of a negative shape that vibrates next to the skin color of the thigh.”

“The human body is an inseparable aspect of a landscape, sometimes visible, like the shadow next to the model, or sometimes invisible, like sadness that shapes the mouth and the weariness in the eyes.”

Reviews for The Nature of Drawing
“Andy Rush’s searching book examines and illuminates the many ways art sustains our personal and collective lives. In this gathering of narrative essays and lush images, Rush, founder of the Tucson Drawing Studio (TDS), speaks as a teacher, artist, father, grandfather, husband, and citizen of the world, not only of the art world. Philosophical, experiential, privately formed for the public forum, The Nature of Drawing, like The Drawing Studio for which Rush first composed many of these pieces, humanizes the discourse of art and renders art accessible to all. Rush proposes that visual study and self-study are key not only to how we live more fully, but also to how we redirect the future of education. These essays/conversations engage with history, with drawing as a complex and critical language in the 21st century, and with the pure pleasures of art as part of daily life. Rush’s conversations inspire conversation, which is their generous, reciprocal goal.”

The Nature of Drawing unfolds as a collection of teachings, a series of concentrated sutras upon to which to mediate and with which to better understand art as practice. This lovely book allows readers to be students, offering inspiration and the distilled wisdom that art’s essential purpose is to enhance the experience of our lives. I am deeply grateful for this book and for Andy Rush, master teacher, writer, artist, and human being, whose work renews the meaning to art and community again and again.”

Debra Gregerman
University of Arizona Lecturer
(English, Creative Writing, Honors Arts Elective)

“I use The Nature of Drawing in my Drawing classes as a point of inspiration and a conversation starter to delve into the issues central to the creative process. Unlike the many technical books, it tackles subject matter that is rarely discussed in such a candid manner. With a friendly voice, Andy shares his thoughts and provokes our own introspective ones on the many aspects of being a creative being. We get to look at our own motives and fears for art making, and at aspects of relating to our present moment, issues of perception, growth, sharing and passing our love for drawing on. An ideal read, it has the warmth of an intimate chat by the fireplace from a wise and gifted friend, teacher and artist.”

Mariana Carreras
Visual Arts Chair
Pima Community College
Tucson, Arizona