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Art Maker: David Andrews | Graphite drawings

  • David Andrews works on a pencil drawing while staffing the front desk at the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton. KEVIN GUTTING—KEVIN GUTTING

  • David Andrews works on a pencil drawing while staffing the front desk at the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton. KEVIN GUTTING—KEVIN GUTTING

  • David Andrews works on a pencil drawing while staffing the front desk at the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton. KEVIN GUTTING—KEVIN GUTTING

  • David Andrews works on a pencil drawing while staffing the front desk at the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton. KEVIN GUTTING—KEVIN GUTTING

  • A graphite pencil on paper work by David Andrews. KEVIN GUTTING—KEVIN GUTTING

  • Three graphite and paper works by David Andrews. KEVIN GUTTING—KEVIN GUTTING


Thursday, April 07, 2016

If you’ve ever visited the Smith College Museum of Art, you have no doubt seen David Andrews, 47, of Whately, who works there, as a guard.

Andrews started drawing in 2005 as a way to pass time during the quieter moments in the museum galleries. Eventually, he says, people at the museum began to take notice of his artwork, and encouraged him.

An employee at the museum recommended he show his drawings to Brian Foote, then the chief technology officer at the former Northampton clothing store Unite, and now director of the Northampton Arts Council. 

"He started me on my journey with my first show in 2012, at Unite, titled ‘What Do You See,’ ” Andrews says.

Hampshire Life: What kind of artwork do you do? 

David Andrews: My work is all in graphite, ranging from 2B-9B in hardness. I have a few color pieces, but I prefer just plain old pencil.

H.L.: What is your creative process like? For example, does a piece ever start with a “Eureka!” moment?

D.A.: Sometimes it does start with that Eureka! moment, but for the most part, I just let my hand flow onto the paper in a way that has no real goal in mind. I tend to just shade the piece until I’m satisfied, but there are those times when I’m shading that I’ll see a certain image and take it from there.

H.L.: How do you know you're on the right track?

D.A.: It’s a feeling that I get. It’s almost a tingly feeling and it just feels good. It’s a feeling I’m able to recall when I have to stop drawing and start working.

H.L.: What do you do when you get stuck?

D.A.: I tend to step back from a piece for a couple of days and not think about it at all. I may Facebook a little bit or watch a movie. Or eat potato chips, LOL. Then I’ll go back to the piece and finish it.

H.L.: How do you know when the work is done?

D.A.: To me, something is always missing. That thinking can get so dark and​ deep that the original feeling of the work can be totally lost. A lot of times someone has to say to me, “David, it’s done.”

H.L.: What did you do recently that relates to your art?

D.A.: I was just glancing up at the clouds and saw a beautiful formation and had to use it. It’s my newest drawing.

H.L.: Let’s think big: If you and your artwork become well-known, will that change you?

D.A.: I’d like to think I would stay as humble as I am today. I  would try very hard not to become big-headed and have the attitude of, “Oh, you can’t talk to me because I’m an ‘artist.’ ” LOL.

— Kathleen Mellen 

Drawings by David Andrews will be on view Aug. 1-31 at Forbes Library in Northampton, with an artist’s reception Aug.5 (time TBA).

To learn more about Andrews’ art, visit www.facebook.com/DrawingsByDavidAndrews.