Wednesday, September 7, 2016

End of Crazy Ass-ness

I had a blast this summer.

A good part of that was due to not having internet. We spent as much time as possible at our camp.

We have to bring in the water, have a composting toilet and a friend who freezes ice packs for us so we can stay for longer periods of time. We take up a huge box of books, Steve takes his banjo and the cat, and I knit or nap.
One of the blast off points for this summer was a week long sketching in Lunenburg 'camp'.(here) I stayed at a very nice B&B (link) and had lovely meals out. The course, taught by Emma FitzGerald (here) was wonderful. We learned about sketching buildings, outdoor spaces, people and finding the courage to be in public while drawing. There was a complete range of drawing skills from two potters who never drew, to two very accomplished drawers (as opposed to dressers or bureaus (all three words are homonyms, what a surprise.)

My first ever, ever drawing while sitting in public and that includes sneaking little doodles in lectures when bored. This is a big sketch book, no hiding behind it, but I tried.

The Lunenburg Bump, except it isn't. I could not get the geometry. Awful isn't it, was a worthy effort.
As the week went along, it was amazing how quickly everyone picked up tips and skills, courage and a sense of adventure around 'failures'. We had several interesting conversations on the topic of failure. I had to really think about the idea that drawing failures are really unsuccessful sketches, an entirely different sort of product. Most sketches, even the worst ones, contain some thing that can be moved along, from the original idea to a corner of the sketch or a line that worked.

I tried a different bump, figuring it was the bump's fault, not mine.

Here, Emma Fitzgerald looked over my shoulder and coached me, then I went to my B&B and outlined the correct lines in a thicker market, so I could feel how the lines were drawn.
Even colour choices can ring true on a drawing that looks crooked or out of proportion. We all painted in watercolours, the medium of choice for many who are adding colour while sketching. The application of watercolour goes much more quickly than pencil crayons or markers. And I looked so professional, sitting there with water cup, stool, sketch book, paints and camera. No one dared say 'what a mess you are making." No, they all smiled, kept their opinions to themselves and we all pretended that whatever I was doing was entirely right, given the artistic nature of (sssh) an artist. "I meant to do this" was my mantra.

I think we tackled this on our second afternoon. Sweet Henry in Chocolate Bar, it was impossible. See below.
After a while, and several efforts, I drew a dragon and blew the whole thing up. In frustration, I turned the chair 180 degrees and saw this.

Much simpler. It turns out, this house has a ghost story attached to it, about a boy who can be seen through the upper window and who can be heard playing the violin. I added the ghost figure later on, after hearing the story.
I started to feel that not all things were impossible with this drawing.

We went to the Lunenburg market and did gestural drawings of people. I liked this exercise a lot.
Then we had to draw something more specific and add colour. I think these two turned out alright.

A home with many, many artifacts was loaned to us for an afternoon and we spent a lovely two hours sketching and painting. This is a nook in the kitchen. I am proud of it, especially compared to my first drawing.

Steve and I did a couple of outdoor sketching events while at the camp. This is the cemetery in Port Medway, looking over the harbour. It painted up rather well, also, but where or where did I put it?

Back home, our daughter was with us for a fun week, my son celebrated his 29th !!!! birthday, Steve and I remembered we have been married for 30 years and both my camera and computer came back from repairs. All exciting for different reasons.

Silly buggers.

And now I return, to discover that the readership has plummeted. No surprise since I posted nothing for weeks. Dear readers, please come back and/or pass it on, Cloudmongers and Soup is back and at'em.

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