“And so it begins…” has become a repeated phrase in modern parlance. Some attribute it to Lord of the Rings and King Theodon commenting on the beginning of the war for Middle Earth. The most popular meme seems to be references to Star Wars. For me, though, it was when Kosh, an alien ambassador said it in Babylon 5, a 5 year TV saga that is still, in my view, the best scripted TV series ever. It’s scope was huge for TV and I’ve watched it several times.
And so it begins, Quebec’s winter sketching season. It’s a loooong season too. We’ll come out of it sometime in May, six months from now [sigh]. That means I’ll be spending my “urban sketching” time in museums, sitting in the dark, drawing with the use of a book light. I’ll spend time scribbling my way through coffee shops, trying to capture the people there just to break the monotony.
But today we’re having a heat wave. Our temperature hit 1C today (grin). We went to the museum for the first time in months and drew a new, small display of fire fighting paraphenalia. It was nice because it was in a hallway and not in the two major exhibits, where many of the exhibits are too darn dark to see, let alone draw. At least it’s practice and goodness knows I need that.
Sometimes, when I stop to sketch, it just doesn’t work. I don’t know why. What I feel is that I just can’t see in the way an artist sees things. Everything is a struggle and I can’t engage with the subject. In particular I have this problem when I try quick-sketching but also, sometimes, when I’m trying to do a more normal sketch. Anyways, in spite of my embarrassment to do so, I thought I’d share one of these failures with you.
Our main library is closed for renovations right now but there’s a small branch library not far from my house. I was walking by the other day and decided to stop in for a few minutes of people sketching. The views aren’t great in this library but, frankly, it didn’t matter because I couldn’t draw a person to save my life. These were 30-60s sketches and all tentative and horrible.
I gave up in frustration and continued walking. About 15 minutes later I saw this old guy waiting to cross the street so I tried again. I was pretty happy with how this one turned out. I suppose the moral of the story is not to give up but I’d sure like to know why my brain won’t engage with my inner artist on occasion.
Pumpkins are still everywhere I look, so I drew another pile of them. I suppose, now that Halloween is over, that Christmas decorations will be all over the place. The retail world has spread “celebration” (buy stuff you don’t need) of this holiday over two months and, for me, this has completely diluted the joyful atmosphere of the holiday. I’m not sure I’ll do many Christmas sketches. Maybe some cash registers (grin).
It’s that time of the year when we all get ready for groups of kids who will come in an attempt to extort candy from us in exchange for cuteness. We don’t get many trick or treaters in our neighborhood because everyone who lives here is, shall we say, advanced in age. But some parts of the city do get lots of young morsels…I mean kids coming to the doors. This is what you see in THOSE neighborhoods. Happy Halloween, everyone.
Stillman & Birn Beta (8×10), DeAtramentis Document Black, Wing Sung 3009, Daniel Smith watercolors
Our Grand Marche is awash in pumpkins. I’m sure there are more apples in the building but pumpkins are a close second. Not drawing some of them is simply out of the question. Doing this drawing along with a cup of coffee made for a fun, even relaxing morning.
Then I added some color. Pumpkins need color..lots of color
Stillman & BIrn Alpha (4×6), DeAtramentis Document Black, Wing Sung 3009, Daniel Smith watercolors