Stories from my Sketchbook . . .
We’ve just had the most stunning winter weekend. The sun shone, the skies were a cloudless blue and the temperature went up to about 23 degrees (73F) both days. I had all the doors and windows open hoping to lure some of the warmer air into the house. (It’s freezing in the house—long sleeves and woolly socks inside, short sleeves and no socks outside. Crazy.) The girls and I went for a long walks in the sunshine both morning and evening and it really felt like Spring was on the way.
(It isn’t of course—not quite yet. The weather bureau tells us that we are expecting rain later today and the temperature is also set to drop 10 degrees, so this was just a short burst of winter warmth trying to lull us into a false sense of security. )
The weather was so nice I decided to take myself out of doors to do some sketching. This is not something I am entirely (or even at all) comfortable with. I think I have said before that although I don’t mind walking in it (the outdoors I mean)—in fact I quite like it—my ideal outdoor experience is preferably an alfresco coffee shop, under an umbrella, in the shade, with a ‘Plan B’ to go inside if it gets too hot . . . or too cold . . . or there are too many flies . . .
I am also not at all comfortable with people watching me draw—even if they are not really watching me at all (which in truth they rarely are—it just feels like they are). When I see fabulous drawings from artists who have sketched inside coffee shops or concert halls or at public events I always think how great it would be to do the same, but I just haven’t been able to work myself up to it. (Yet.) I need to get over myself.
So I decided I would start small, and packed up my sketchbook and a couple of pens and pencils and went in search of something to sketch. I found myself a quiet corner of the local park where no one could see me (which was a feat in itself as there were people everywhere) and did a couple of quick sketches of some of the plant life I found lying around. I know I could just as easily have taken these bits and pieces home with me to draw, but I didn’t (one small step for man, or at least Sally . . . ) so it was definitely a ‘step’ in the right direction and I eventually came home quite puffed up and pleased with myself at my little outing.
And then I walked in the front door to be confronted my three cranky little dogs who did not care one whit that I had just had a bit of a sketching breakthrough but were very keen to let me know that going to the park without them was really not something they were willing to tolerate on a regular basis. Sigh.