A Sketch for Jana

b-sketch11 sketchsubject2

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.

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8 responses to “A Sketch for Jana

  1. Nobody’s ever written a post for me before — how cool! And I just happened to post today with more BART people sketches. Sometimes when sketching isn’t convenient I just look at people as if I were sketching them, noticing shapes, colors, lines and how I would draw them if my sketchbook wasn’t buried in my pack while I standing, hanging on to a pole, squished in a crowd of commuters.

  2. You are natural! Great sketch – and lovely intro by Jana to our Everyday Matters group. You really should join!

  3. Jana sent us over at EDM to come and look- she’s right- you do have a real talent for whimsical clay creations- AND I loved your sketch 🙂 Take a pad with you on the train daily and sketch- you’ll find your pictures getting better and better and your observations skills improving 😀

  4. A good beginning. Wonderful. With all the creativity you obviously possess I’m sure your drawing will be a great experience for you. ::thrive!

  5. That’s a lovely drawing – are you SURE you don’t do this very often? 🙂 I love how you’ve represented the foliage. More!!!

  6. Love the sketch – the figure is great and especially like the way you have combined the images. Definitely carry your sketchbook with you all the time. The tmes I leave mine at home are times when I see something great to draw or find I have time to spare that could be spent drawing.

  7. Wow, Thank you all for your encouragement. I felt so good about your kind words that I went out and did another sketch today. I hope to post it soon. I’m still working on getting the whites to look white . . .

  8. Hi Barbara, what a great sketch. I used to draw so many years ago and left it behind, but just before the new year I got a sketch book and started putting down ideas for my clay creations, so I could look at it later. I love your clay plants, so delightful and unexpected.

    With the few underglazes I have used I have painted three coats for Cone 10 firings and I know some colors will burn out at those temps – yellows and reds. I have also found some glazes turn into colors I wasn’t expecting and I, like you, am impatient, but with that I have gotten some good experiments which I will re-use. Keep up your drawing, it is beautiful.

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