Life Drawing and Empathy

Life Drawing and Empathy


Egon Schiele, Standing male figure (self-portrait) 1914. Photograph © National Gallery in Prague 2017

A study of narcissists indicates that you can’t create empathy, or teach it and things like observation of the human body isn’t a magic solution to the problem of caring for another when you only care for oneself.Reading the article it shows that the author has created over-anxiety by extreme self downing. 
Things like repetitive concentration, yoga, meditation, prayer, drawing, music are good distractions from over-anxiety, though not a cure. When I worked in prisons as a drug counsellor everyone said what good artists the prisons created. But it was all the same, detailed , repetitive concentrated work, a distraction. It wasn’t art unless art is the medication of symptoms of poor mental health. 
When I worked with suicidal ex-military it was the same, extreme conditional downing of self and others, an objectifying learned and encouraged in order to ignore empathy long enough to kill. 
Empathy is acceptance without condition of self, others and the universe. It requires using free will and power of choice to accept the randomness of life and the hope and beauty and tragedy contained therein.
When I see a show of any kind of art that is highly repetitive, highly skilled, rubber stamp art all traces of humanity removed I know what I’m looking at: mental illness.
When I see the opposite, from the cave paintings to Egon Schiele, I am filled with the beauty of the hand made mark an act of acceptance of self, others and the universe.
My best art prof Alan Dunning (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Dunning) said, your work is looking stylized, you’ve gone back to emphasizing fundamentals. Ya, my wife has a terminal genetic brain disease, and I’m freaking out about it. He gave me a A for the honesty of my work.