I have been having the urge to sketch things. This is odd for me because I rarely even do sketches for my ceramic pieces, preferring to get a picture in my mind and make decisions with the clay as I go along. Not that I think this is the best way but it seems to be my way. So when my fingers started itching to draw on paper, I was surprised.
It started when I posted about Oxalis the other day. I wanted to show how 2 or 3 new flower heads would spring up from a bare stalk, but I couldn’t find any examples to photograph, so I thought about drawing it. I saw the picture clearly in my mind like it had come from a book on botanical prints – finely rendered in pencil and watercolor. It looked great in my imagination, but that’s as far as it got.
The next day I was riding BART home from San Francisco, and, because I left my book in my daughter’s car when she dropped me off at the station, I people watched. Jana, my artist friend who sketches and paints her world daily (beautifully, in ink, watercolor, and oil), does drawings of people on BART during her daily commute – an incredible range of faces – sitting still for long periods of time. I saw some really interesting looking people, but I didn’t have a pencil, pen or paper.
I did have a nifty little camera. I tried to take a picture of the 60-something woman with fushia colored hair and astonishing eyebrows many seats away who was concentrating on her sudoku, but the man in the seat across from me scowled pointedly at me and I figured I was displaying poor train etiquette and put my camera away.
Today was unseasonably warm and beautiful. I sat on my steps and did this little drawing of a “claysketch” figure that I made not long after I started working with clay a few years ago. I actually had made a drawing before I started this clay lady, but the picture looks nothing like this figure. The one I set out to make was a much more abstract representation.
I enjoyed doing the sketch which took about 10 or 15 minutes or maybe longer because time really does fly when you’re havin’ fun and I tried not to get too concerned about getting it “right”. Taking a picture of the sketch so I could post it took at least 5 times longer than drawing it. The paper came out gray no matter what I tried and I ended up sending it to Jana – she is so patient with my technical ineptitude – to photoshop the white background. She sent it back with a couple of ideas about using the snow scene setting on the camera or adding exposure time – if I ever try posting a sketch again.