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‘You can observe a lot by just watching.’ Yogi Berra.

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.

gloomyI 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.

blindfoldIt’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?

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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 . . .

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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‘Everyone has two eyes but no one has the same view.’ Wael Harakeh.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . .

mr magooLast week’s homework from my ‘Seeing’ art class was to highlight the differences in how we see, what we see—and also what we don’t see—when we look at something really quickly as opposed to looking deeply and intently at the same object.  It was a ‘quick, quick slow’ exercise.  

The idea was to pick a ‘fairly complex’ object and to do a quick one-minute rough sketch of it in whatever medium we chose (I chose watercolour, just because it seemed easiest.  HA!  Shows you how much I know.)  Once the initial sketch was completed we were then to slow right down and to spend the next half an hour, longer if preferred, to really look at the object and to add in the detail on top of the original sketch—correcting it as we went. Sounds easy enough doesn’t it?  Mmmmm.  

Well, first of all I don’t really do ‘one minute sketches’, in pencil, watercolour or any other medium. Nothing I have ever drawn in one minute has ever looked even vaguely akin to what I was attempting to copy.  And this was no different.  In hindsight I didn’t really think through attempting to sketch a green plant in a green pot and I guess I shouldn’t have been all that surprised that I ended up with a fuddled green blur and not much else.  

But that was okay.  I had the detail to add yet and detail is what I like, so this should be easy—right?  Not so much.  Turns out that I actually found it quite difficult to look past my original sketch and not just ‘follow the lines’ that I had originally set down.  (Anyone else out there always taught to colour within the lines?  It’s a hard habit to break.)  

It took a couple of false starts but I eventually started to get the hang of it, although, as usual, the hardest part was knowing when to stop.  (Even now I want to go back and work on it some more.  I don’t like the pot . . . I’m not happy with the pot . . . Step away from the pen Sally—step away . . . )

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Posted by on August 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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