Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Functions of Sketching

Sometimes sketching in a journal has functions other than drawing for pleasure. Last night, at a town meeting about a pending proposal for allowing tar sands to the pipelines of South Porltand, my opportunity to sketch saved me.
It was an outlet for nervous energy, allowing me to take in information & comments on a disturbing subject.
 The beauty of it is that I now have recorded information to refer back to. And I got to observe people in their poses & their costumes, perhaps like a bird-watcher observing birds. So, I DID get to draw for pleasure as well.
A note about my technique: Once home, I filled empty space  with writing to balance out compositions a bit. The beauty of this is that I got to study the information by reviewing it & by copying notes that were handed out. And, here & there, I added some personal reflections as well. 

(PS. In the drawing above: "The Three Little Pots" are soup pots from a restaurant where I'd been the day before. Sketching while waiting, also a way that sketching enriches life.)

24 comments:

  1. tar sands is a subject too close to me (pipeline going to run across our property carrying that stuff from ok to tx gulf.) read about the michigan spill, too. huge sigh...

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    1. Yes at the meeting the Natural Resources Council of Maine reported on the Kalamazoo spill. Here on the coast, we also have the issue new smoke stacks & tankers releasing chemicals into the air. It is a disturbing subject.

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  2. Don't want to get into politics, from another country, but the stance of the audience at the meeting certainly told a story captured by your fantastic aquarelle sketching.

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  3. You never waste time and get a good reminder!
    People sketched here are so well made that I can easily imagine them in real life!
    Questions: do people see you drawing, and do they ask to look at what you're doing?are they attracted by what you're doing?

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    1. Yes, Malyss, people some people are attracted. Some ask, some just look over your shoulder, some take photos without asking. There are times when I don't think i'm aware of nearby people. With some people, I'm happy to stop my sketching & to chat about the process & some nice new worlds open up. With others I feel protective. In this case, I was in the very back of the gym, so I had complete privacy & I enjoyed that a lot. Thank you for asking!

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  4. Sadly I can't sketch but I always have knitting or a book I'm reading in the car with me to fill the times I have to wait. It's kept my blood pressure down many times.
    V

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    1. Yes, Virginia, I think reading & knitting have that calming quality. (And I can't knit.)

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  5. The writing adds so much. Love these.

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    1. Thank you, Margie. The writing is a very important part of the content & also the design process for me! Thanks for stopping by!.

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  6. What a great way to spend that time! Love these sketches -- they give a real feel for the atmosphere and at the same time capture individual details. So happy you keep and share a sketchbook!

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  7. We share that need to redirect or focus our thoughts and emotions during tense times. I usually bring my knitting. Now I might try a sketchbook instead. Thank you for showing the poses and postures...I, too, would have had a difficult time in that setting.

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    1. Yes, redirect thoughts & emotions in tense times, that's a good way to say it. Good words, Library Jewel!

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  8. An interesting crowd -- most dressed casually. A policeman -- did they expect a problem with the crowd? All seemed intent on listening by the body language you sketched. You seem to be playing the role of court room artist/reporter. Definitely a topic that needs discussion -- would like to hear about the eventual outcome when it is decided on. -- barbara

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    1. Most were dressed casually, but the oil company folks & lawyers were dressed formally. The police: I think it was possible as sometimes demonstrators can show up. I will keep you posted. Right now most folks are asking for more research & hearings before a permit would be voted on. I sat in the back of the gym, & being a distanced observer helped to keep me calm. Thank you for your note, Barbara. ~Rita

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  9. Oh what wonderful sketches. I envy your ability to draw the figure so well and not be intimidated while in public.

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    1. Cris, I actually can be intimidated in public. Sometimes I look for places that are hidden. Sometimes it depends on how badly I have the urge to sketch something. People are a strong focus in my sketching. Thanks, Rita

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  10. I guess it's a good thing the policeman wasn't doing the 'drawing' at the meeting.

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  11. (i don't have any control over the ads placed at my site. google adsense sometimes matches them to keywords in my posts - like if i show 'varmints' i might get ads for pest control. most of the time they're random.) :)

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    1. That ad must have picked up on varmints, like that might be another word for criminals? It definitely didn't fit in with the nature of your nature blog (no pun intended).

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  13. These pages remind me of my grandmother's willow patterned dishware. Blue and White.

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  14. I said before that I love your "spying on people" sketches the most. This post made me think of the days when photography was not yet invented and they had artists at the courthouse to sketch the main actors of the drama (the defendant, the lawyers, the judge, the jury, the public) so that it could later illustrate the article in the paper.
    Bardzo ciekawe.

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Thank you for your comments! They mean a lot to me!