What Does A Sick Sketcher Do?

I’m sick.  My body feels like it’s been hit by a truck.  I have a sore throat and you can find me by listening for the hacking cough.  But what’s worse is the boredom.  How do people watch TV all the time?  Egad…no wonder we have societal problems.

But I’ve decreed myself unsick, though my body is fighting me on this issue.  This morning I was trying to straighten up the nest I’d created in the living room.  You know what I mean if you’ve been sick (who hasn’t?).  I folded up the blanket, put pillows where they belong, put the cough medicine bottle away, and reshelved most of the books and I put the pile of pens back in my art bag.

On the coffee table in front of me was a pile of scribbles I’d done and as I went to pick them up and throw them away, I thought maybe you’d like to see some of what this sick sketcher scribbled over the last couple days.  I’m not sure what it says about me, but this scribbling made me feel just a bit better – a bit less bored.


More Museum Sketching

I’m still doing sketching at our museum in what is, for me, lightning speed.  It’s funny to write that as I regularly do 1-2 minute sketches but those are quick ‘grabs’ at some subject.  In this case I’m trying to rush my way through sketches while retaining a semblance of accuracy and detail.

Egypt artifacts

Stillman & Birn Beta, Namiki Falcon, DeAtramentis Document Black

I can’t say I’m successful but it’s sort of like the 1-minute, single-line drawing exercises I’m doing in response to a Marc Taro Holmes workshop; it’s a sketching time frame that’s teaching me things and helping me visualize proportions quickly and helps me prioritize what’s important and what is not.  If 1-minute single-line sketches are the 100-yard dash, these are more like the 3k run and in contrast to my normal sketching which is akin to a marathon.  I did all these sketches in about an hour.  At the rate I’m going, I predict that I’ll have sketching figured out by the time I hit 130.

Egyptian artifacts

Stillman & Birn Alpha, Namiki Falcon, DeAtramentis Document Black

Cemetery Sketchcrawl Was A Big Success

It’s too late in the year to have an outdoor sketchcrawl in Quebec City.  We did it anyway.  Our group met at 10AM at the Mt. Herman Cemetery, a large expanse of rolling hills, tall white pines, oaks and maples and an ambiance that makes one want to meditate.  There’s a haiku group that meets weekly just to sit and write haiku poems.  I can understand why.

But we were there to draw.  Mark Brennan, one of the nicest guys in all of Quebec City and director of the cemetery, offered us the facilities of his building so we had toilet facilities as well as a kitchen and table around which we could sit for lunch.  As it turned out this really put the frosting on our sketchcrawl cake.

We went out to sketch and after some wandering, I sat down to draw a monument with a statue on top.  I had just done some organizational lines when Rene came over, introduced himself and told me that there were some other people that had just arrived.  So, as the organizer, I grabbed my stuff and hoofed it back up the hill to welcome people.  The cemetery is huge so it was no small feat to find everyone but find them I did, all busy sketching and in no need of my smiling face.  I gave it to them anyway.

I was heading back down to my sketching location when I met someone and that encounter became an hour-long discussion of fountain pens and inks.  Eventually I realized that there was something of an information overload occurring and so I told her I’d send her some links to the products we’d been talking about (Goulet Pens should give me cut) and I finally got back to sketching.

I got a few more lines drawn before I saw Rene and Gilles walking along the road and realized that we’d agreed to meet at the house at noon for lunch.  Guess what time it was.  So, once again, I packed up and walked with them.  Lunch was fun as we sat around talking (well, mostly I listened as I still have a hard time maintaining a conversation in French), some other people arrived, and we were having a bit of a party, sharing sketchbooks, talking about the virtues of gathering to sketch, etc.

Having had food, drink and comraderie, we headed back out to sketch and I was determined to finish at least one sketch so I headed immediately back to my statue.  It was now 3 1/2 hours into our sketchcrawl and I’d sketched no more than 15 minutes of it but I was having a lot of fun.  Sometimes it’s just not about the drawing.

It had also cooled somewhat and my Arizona bones were hurting, literally.  My arthritis and the cold froze up my hands to the point where I was having a hard time holding the pen and getting a straight line was out of the question.  But I finished the sketch and then ran over to a car full of sketchers and spent a few minutes inside warming up (grin).

Mt Herman Cemetery

Stillman & Birn Beta, Namiki Falcon, DeAtramentis Document Black

In all, we had a dozen sketchers, enjoying one of those ‘crisp fall days’ that authors talk about.  We sketchers call them ‘awfully cold’ but we did have fun.  Thanks to everyone who came and to Mark Brennan who made it all possible.

Sketching At Ecole De Cirque – Are You Kidding Me?

The great folks that organize the Collectif des ateliers libres en arts visuels  (longest group name ever) arranged to allow us to sketch at the Ecole de cirque where young people train to become circus entertainers.  It was a wonderful opportunity, or so I thought.  In the end, though, I wasn’t up to the task.

Attempt with a washable ink.

The school was fantastic and just getting to see it made the outing worth the trouble.  there were people jumping, bouncing, swinging, and being thrown across rooms everywhere you looked.  And they were good…really good.  Sketching them, however, was another matter.  It was like trying to draw popcorn being popped.  No two movements were identical and most not directed.  I simply couldn’t keep up.  Need more practice – more experience.

Attempt with a washable ink.

Attempt with a washable ink.

2015-10-30cirque2_colorHere’s an example of my failures…many failures 🙂  The woman on the left was spinning around and around in this hula-hoop thingie hung from the ceiling.  She’d hang from it, zip up through it and sometimes dangle with hands outstretched in different directions.  By the time I had  a line or two “defining” the woman on the right, she was upside down and she too was swinging, hanging and moving… a lot.

This woman made it a bit easier on me as she was working with a coach.  Her thing was to have two sets of belts hanging from the ceiling, as a gymnast working on rings might do, except she had no rings, just the loops of the belts.  She was practicing hanging vertical and moving her legs into and out of different positions.   She’d also dismount once in a while and stand, talking to her coach.  It seemed more like the popcorn in a bowl rather than in the popper and I took advantage of it.  I also drew a bunch of people who were just sitting/standing around but I’ll spare you those.


While we were eating lunch, a bunch of kids came into the room to eat lunch.  They were all bundled up in coats so I took the opportunity to do some quick pencil sketches of them.  It was a fitting end to the day as eventually I put my coat on too.  It’s that time of the year where I always lament that I’m now having to put on a coat before I go outside (grin).

Wake Up, Larry!

This week has been very hectic.  I’ve been out sketching almost every day and I’ve been doing all the winterizing stuff done around our house. Seems I’ve forgotten to scan stuff and post it here.  Sorry about that.

Here’s a little sketch I did while watching a movie.  I’ll get some scanning done and posted ‘real soon.’