The Surrey With The Fringe On Top

In my last blog post I talked about how dark it is in the museum exhibit room where the new carriage exhibit is displayed.  I bit the bullet and decided to try to draw one of them.  I took a sketchbook light with me and I needed it.  In fact, if I’d had three of them, I would have used them all.  It was so dark where I was sitting that I couldn’t see what pens I was pulling from my bag without shining the light onto the bag.

Here’s the sketch I generated before I just gave up.  I was sitting no more than 8-10 feet behind the rear wheel and yet I could not see the front of the carriage and had to walk up beside it to figure out what needed to be drawn.  You know how they tell you to spend 80% of your time looking at the subject and 20% at your paper so you can get the proportions correct?  Well, I’m sure I did that but I don’t think the advice assumes you have to walk around the room to see the subject.  What I’m certain of is that this sketch is wonky from all the movement.  In the light or in the dark, those big, thin, spoked wheels made me go cross-eyed.

And so, as I write this, I rely on the axiom, “Any day that includes sketching is better than a day without it.”  But I think our museum is taking photon austerity just a bit too far.

Stillman & Birn Alpha, Sailor calligraphy pen , De Atramentis Document Black

Stillman & Birn Alpha, Sailor calligraphy pen , De Atramentis Document Black

2 Responses to “The Surrey With The Fringe On Top”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Tina says:

    I get so frustrated in dark museums! You made a valiant attempt, despite the lack of light. Maybe you should recruit a guard to hold a flashlight for you. 😉

    – Tina

    • …I’ve sort of gotten used to subdued lighting in museums and carry a light with me. This new carriage exhibit takes it to a whole new level and it’s just crazy. It’s like being in a cinema. In many places you can’t see the floor it’s so dark and I think the reason is that they’ve got these silly projected images behind a few of the carriages and they need it dark like a cinema so you can see them. Sort of misses the whole point of ‘display’ to me when you can’t see the main items on display. The security people have flashlights for goodness sake 🙂

      Cheers — Larry