Inspired by other sketchers

January 2, 2011


My second go at the streetscape from my front porch. 10am again. Quite hot. Love the sharp shadows of wooden lattice on dark brickwork but have ignored more DNA which says to Go Tonal and went contour today. I hate contour. I have to learn to love contour. In stopping, I exercised enormous self-discipline – normally I’d keep going, launching into cross-hatching along the lines of Stephen Gardner’s Cap Dude and similar (love his red ink work on yellow paper). Obviously if I was redoing it as a painting/colour exercise I’d be creating more interesting geometric shapes… Will come back tomorrow. I don’t get up at 3am each morning to draw the dawn but the idea (raised at the first Adelaide Drawing Marathon) still appeals deep down.

The Internet is quickly dispelling my long-held preconceptions about sketching. I thought my compulsion for sketching was something to be kept private, like a mental disease. Drawing unobtrusively in public carries with it now all sorts overtones of privacy invasion and sexual predation, but obviously where one focuses on landscape, still life, the risks of physical and verbal abuse are minimised. Some weblogs and websites are extensions of life drawing classes and organised weekly sketchclubs. Whatever the format or rationale, I find fellow sketchers madly drawing and scanning/uploading. I feel liberated! I never quit full-time work as my father thought I might straight after spending a week drawing in Adelaide at the first Drawing Marathon, but drawing definitely has that pull. One of my strongest abiding memories is trying to fly home early on a Sunday night back to Sydney with full-size drawing paper – and I mean full-size, huge rolls of paper far too big to ordinarily go as air luggage.

Spent time looking at the magnificent on-site Italy journal(s) of USK’s Australian Correspondent, Liz Steel, at; equally extraordinary linework from Eza. Curious to see that churches are charging entry in Italy; that was not the case back in 1978 but Italy has become a tourist theme park from Lombardy to Palermo, so I shouldn’t be surprised, something strongly hinted at in this week’s tv Italian movie, Agata e la tempesta. Under their influence, I have picked up biro and conte pencils today; sketchbooks with the mid-tones already in place thanks to the coloured paper background don’t look thick on the ground, but love the suggestion of someone on the Net somewhere about drawing on individual folios and binding them.

**gasp** leaves the house #1

22 January, 2010 is mercifully a Saturday so am aiming to attend the 30th SketchCrawl (TM). This may happily also involve something called the Sydney Sketch Club. Balmoral Beach was first mooted but there’s movement at the station for Manly. On account of the manliness of the indigenous who stood up to the colonial whities, so they say. Beaches are what we do best at in High Summer and I can’t overlook the fact that our surf carnivals and their participants have entered the iconography of gay imagery round the globe. Mustn’t forget the sunblock and ought to warm up with a schizzo or two at Circular Quay – the vista from the northern platform of the subway rail station, for starters. For maximum intensity (certainly my natural inclination), I would solo-crawl – but I can do that anytime, in my own way, separate from SketchCrawl. For me, the thing to do is probably organise the train/ferry trip in stages, giving myself regular 20-minute breaks to draw along the way: the local railway station, Circular Quay, a ferry or two, the ferry wharf at Manly and then the Beach proper. Manly Beach will certainly be a challenge: the place is astonishingly ‘open’ to the elements, the built environment certainly takes second place. I have always liked the winding path around to Fairy Bower.

On SketchCrawl:  

Questo gruppo prende spunto dal sito ufficiale fondato da Enrico Casarosa a San Francisco che ormai da anni organizza giornate di disegno per le città di tutto il mondo. Il gruppo si prefigge di organizzare giornate di sketchcrawl, disegno dal vero en plein air. Il gruppo è’ aperto a tutti senza limiti di età o di esperienza nel disegno. E’ un modo per scambiarsi opinioni, per passare giornate piacevoli insieme e soprattutto rilassarsi.

 **gasp** leaves the house #2

Second public outing: Saturdays 12 March to 16 April from 1pm, starting at the Palm Grove Centre, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Great Garden Sketchabout at By rights, I should visit the Japanese Garden at Campbelltown Arts Centre in the morning of one of these Saturdays and continue out to Mount Annan Botanic Gardens.




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