I realized that I never posted sketches from my last trip to the museum. My only excuse was that I was still dealing with the flu and wasn’t much in a blog-writing mood. But as I looked at them I realized they told a story of the day in a way that only sketches can.
When I arrived at the museum I was feeling ok. Not great but not good enough that I hadn’t cancelled the trip. There were five of us and we all headed to the Egypt exhibition. I realized two things. I’d forgotten my stool and I’d forgotten my light.
The exhibit is pretty dark so it was hard to find a subject where I could get enough light on the paper to see what I was doing. I found this little statue (about 40cm high) and if I stood close enough to its glass case, the spotlight that was on it illuminated my paper, sort of, and so I drew. I remember noting how hard it was to draw something when you stand that close to it. I used a watercolor pencil to add the color.
By the time I finished this sketch, though, I felt like I’d been run over by a truck. I went sat down and stared into the dark for a while, interrupted only by a couple short conversations with students about the drawing above. Mostly I was waiting for the others to finish as I just wasn’t up to standing and sketching.
Eventually I got up and walked to where Claudette was sketching and sat down to watch her. She was mostly in the dark but I decided to do a quick-sketch of her. Mostly I was making it up as it really was hard to see her. In fact, I completely missed the fact that she had a sweater laid over her shoulders. We need more light in our museum exhibits (grin).
When the others were done we headed to the museum cafe for coffee and to share sketches and to talk sketching. This must have revitalized me a bit as while we typically leave after coffee, I decided to stop and do a quick sketch of a fishing creel that’s part of a small historic fishing exhibition going on right now. I guess I felt guilty that I hadn’t accomplished more.
I remember thinking how stupid itwas to be drawing in a museum while feeling the way I do. I also remember thinking that the dedication to drawing that drew me to the museum was why I can’t understand people who say they don’t have time to draw.
I have been thinking about a stool that I could carry everywhere. It works sketching standing up, but I find I draw more relaxed sitting down, and available seats often decide what ends up in my sketchbook. Ideally, there is a stool out there that folds to A4-size and weights less than a kilo. Or am I having unrealistic daydreams?
I find that Egyptian figurine quite fascinating. Is that a beard he is holding? Is he a deity of some kind?
Maybe you’d like the stool I carry. It’s called the WalkStool. It’s not cheap but it weighs only 637 grams, and is just a smidge longer than an A4 sketchbook when folded.
I should have mentioned who/what that guy was. Egyptians placed statues around mummies to scare away evil spirits. The drawn face is actually a mask that is being held up to his real face with the stick in his hands. Seemed odd to me, given that many other examples are simple gargoyle-like statues.