Eleanor Dickinson draws—incessantly. Her license plate reads “LIMNER,” which means “one who draws.” Nowhere is this talent more apparent than in her ink drawings of intimacy among the elderly.
"The original enthusiasm to draw aging lovers was natural, organic, and unthinking. I have always much preferred people and animals drawn in moments of heightened emotion or ecstasy. Naturally, drawing lovers was an exciting treat and I had no bias toward the young ones or need to show formal perfection, ideal form, or universal order. Indeed, as I found more subjects, the older people proved much more rewarding to work with technically - there was just more there to draw, thousands of irregularities of the body from which to choose."
"My subject was not really the physiognomy but the soul or spirit, and these older lovers were much more interesting more complex, and much more diffident. They were surprised at my wanting to draw them, and some were apologetic about their bodies. . . Society had taught them to be ashamed of these bodies."
Wally and Ann
Eleanor Dickinson taught at California College of the Arts (California College of Arts and Crafts) for decades, chaired the Lifetime Awards for the Women's Caucus for Art, and has exhibited nationally. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Tennessee in 1952. One year later, she moved to California and began redefining her process of creating traditional figure drawings via strong emotions. Since then, Dickinson has maintained a life-long commitment to the human form and has continued to reveal the make-up of her social conscience - a social conscience that has responded to intense moments of human existence, ranging from the experiences of Pentecostal Southerners, to the ecstasies of lovers, to the trials of the homeless, to the sufferings of AIDS victims. Dickinson continues to reside in San Francisco Bay Area.
Wally and Sylvie
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