February 2013 CBA REPORT
About the Author
A Brush with the Law:
Six Principles of Art & Law
March 14 @ the Cincinnati Art Museum
Learn more from Petrie and the relationship between art and law during
this upcoming CLE seminar at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
A Brush with the Law: Six Principles of Art & Law
Presentation by Bruce I. Petrie, Jr. and Group Discussion
Group Viewing of Selected Works in Museum Gallery
with Commentary fromWorkshop Leader Bruce Petrie
12:15 p.m. Adjourn to Optional Lunch
When were you first interested
I was always interested in drawing. I
started drawing at a really young age and
freelanced as an editorial cartoonist after
college; drawing for magazines, the
and as a fill-in at the Cincinnati
In the late 80s, I took
a class from American
Master Painter Thomas
Buechner in outdoor
painting. This was
inspirational for two
reasons: he was a
instructor in classical
particularly in the value
of painting outside.
He was also a business
executive himself and encouraged me
to make time to be a lawyer as well as a
painter. He really became a mentor to me
after that class.
Where have you painted?
I have always focused on taking my
portable easel outside to paint. There is
nothing quite like that. You learn the most
about natural light that way. Outdoors,
I’ve painted across the U.S. and overseas.
What do you think painting and
lawyering have in common?
The conventional wisdom is that law is
verbal and painting is visual and so are
in different worlds. But they have some
fundamentals in common
since both may involve
For example, in painting you
often have to organize your
painting into a narrative or
a story, communicate with a
viewer and persuade. When
explaining a matter to a client
or a jury, a lawyer has to
compose and find a center of
interest or focal point. We have
to simplify material, make it
unified and accessible. That’s
what painting does.
In both painting and lawyering,
inspiration makes a difference. It is
really about understanding your motive
and purpose. The big question about
inspiration is why? If you are not inspired
in what the purpose of your art is, then
you ought to be doing something else. It’s
easy to get busy with the day to day so it’s
important to take
time to realize why we are doing what we
do. That’s so fundamental to painting and
I think it’s fundamental to being a good
lawyer as well.
I didn’t realize how much they had in
common at first. It arose naturally through
being a lawyer and painter at the same
What advice would you give
someone who wanted to begin to
paint for the first time?
Drawing is a learned skill. If you think you
have an interest, follow it. You have to be
a bit bold. You have to be willing to step
forward and say I’m going to give it a try.
To view some of Petrie’s artwork, visit his
The seminar qualifies for CLE credit as
Ohio, Indiana & Pennsylvania:
, by calling
(513) 699-4028, or on page 25.