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Respect the sketch

"Maddy," a color aquatint etching by Clare Rojas, depicts an animal that looks like a cross between a dog and a fox. "What You See From a Tree," Mel Kadel's ink-and-collage on paper, shows a girl climbing up a tree — or is it down a tree? — in a topsy-turvy world.

These are just a few of the works in "Following the Line," a show of drawings that opens Friday, Nov. 2, at Girls' Club in Fort Lauderdale.

About a year ago, Miami gallerist Carol Jazzar was invited to view the collection of Girls' Club founders Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz and put together a show. This summer, she decided on an exhibition of works "inspired by and created with the line as a primary tool."

"I show many works on paper and drawings at my gallery, so I'm naturally drawn to that medium, and this isn't something that was done previously at the Girls' Club," she says.

Jazzar feels people often seen drawings as little more than sketches for larger pieces. But increasingly, she says, more artists are focusing on drawing as a medium, creating elaborate, colorful works.

"More and more people are using color ink, felt pens, graphite, even to some extent watercolor, and it's to be considered as drawings," she says.

"Following the Line" will include works by Beatriz Monteavaro, Naomi Fisher, Tracey Emin and 27 other local, national and international artists. While Jazzar was familiar with Louise Bourgeois as a sculptor, she was less familiar with works such as "Pregnant Woman," the late artist's 2008 gouache-on-paper that depicts a side view of a pregnant woman with seemingly translucent, pink and red skin. The body is populated with marks that are darker along the edges and lighter inside. The spots, which resemble pools of blood, create a marbling effect. Jazzar found Bourgeois's drawings to be as powerful as her sculptures.

While Jen Stark, a Miami-born artist who now lives in Los Angeles, is best known for her colorful and imaginative paper sculptures, she also draws. Stark's sculptures are pure fun, but she says her creative process involves much planning, sketching and hours of cutting with an X-acto knife.

"What Does Organic Matter," her 2008 drawing that resembles a polka-dot-fueled concoction of confetti and scissor-curled ribbons, represents a different process. To draw, Stark simply sits down with her pencil, felt-tip pens and a large piece of white paper and begins.

"I usually make one little mark, like a circle, to get the drawing started," she says. "Then, I keep making mark after mark and start pulling things out and getting ideas. The drawings are very freeing, and I enjoy creating them as much as my sculptures."

They're just as much fun to look at.

Colleen Dougher operates the South Florida arts blog Arterpillar.

Following the Line

When: Opens 6-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and runs through Sept. 30, 2013

Where: Girls' Club, 117 N.E. Second St., Fort Lauderdale

Cost: Free

Contact: 954-828-9151 or

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