Stories from my Sketchbook . . .
I have been really slack with my sketching over the last couple of weeks. I know. I seem to be saying that a lot lately, don’t I? But it’s a constant struggle and I am still not really sure why.
I did great for a while, sketching (almost) every day. Even if it wasn’t much of a sketch, at least I was picking up the pen and doodling a bit. But lately days and days go by without even an attempt. Sometimes I pick up my sketchbook and flick through it, thinking it will inspire me . . . and sometimes it does, but often it doesn’t. Oh, I have all sorts of excuses (I’m too tired after work . . . I don’t have enough time today . . . I really need to finish sorting that other thing out first . . . and that old chestnut—I can’t find anything interesting to draw) but I know they are only excuses. I have heard (made) them all before. I am in the drawing doldrums. Again . . .
But I am trying to see it for what it is and trying not to get down on myself about it. I reckon I just have to get into a bit of a rhythm again and I will be fine. And, you know, it’s not all bad. One thing I have come to realise is that since I took up sketching again earlier this year (even if somewhat sporadically) I have definitely become more observant.
It’s not like I wandered about looking down at my feet all the time, because I didn’t. I still noticed my surroundings—the houses, the water, the river, the birds—but now I find myself really seeing things in a different light—the way the branches of a certain tree hang over right down into the water along by the riverwalk . . . the ‘sticky things’ growing up through the mangroves . . . the ricketty old verandah on the house on the corner. (Has that always been there? How have I never noticed that before?) It’s surprising to me—and, to be honest, a little bit freaky. It makes me feel like I have been walking around in a bit of a fog for years . . .
So really, all I have to do now is work out a way to transfer those new-found observations onto the pages of my sketchbook . . . on a regular basis . . . and I’ll be set! Right?
How hard can that be?
This is a sketch of one of Maudie’s favourite toys.
I had never really looked at it properly before but when I did I found it was a really interesting mix of materials and textures
—along with, shall we say, some rather ‘exotic’ smells . . .