From mid-June to early July, we went on a camping road trip through Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming with our VW camper van. Our prime destination was Yellowstone National Park, my first visit there. I was doing credit card size mini sketches from the passenger seat whenever Jeff was driving. The sketches took from about 1 to 10 minutes each. Some I did when we’d stopped, but most I drew quickly while passing by, having to rely on my visual memory — not a bad exercise for someone who’s not very observant by nature.
From doing these sketches and having to really look around me, I had a much better appreciation of the changing landscape. And also that beetle-cleaned skulls are the best — if you’re a taxidermist.
At 8 sketches per letter-size page in my sketchbook, and filling up about 30 pages, I ended up with around 240 sketches. Here are just 64 of them, probably not in exact chronological order.
Click on the “play” button to see the slide show below; you can also enlarge it to take up the full screen, but keep in mind the original sketches are tiny.
In early June, one of my Meetup group members had arranged for the the Montreal urban sketcher and watercolour artist Shari Blaukopf to host a watercolour workshop in Vancouver. This took place on June 5 and 6; there were 12 of us, we only had a little bit of drizzle, and Shari did a great job.
The rule for me is, I don’t get much done in a workshop. I am slow, especially if I have to absorb new information. So my hope is always that something has sunk in anyway.
Here’s Shari doing her demo and leaving us in awe.
I enjoyed practicing grey-scale value sketching in pencil.
Practicing watercolour sketches with a palette restricted to only three colours.
I did this as an assignment for Sketchbook Skool, Danny Gregory’s “klass”. It was fun to try something different. And I had time here on Maui to do my “homework”.
To see and read all the detail, click on the image and it will take you to Flickr where you can see it much bigger.
It’s been great to have had a full week here on Maui without any work. I have almost another week left, but yesterday a scheduled project punctually arrived in my inbox. I’ll have to suffer and squeeze in some work in the evenings here — my specialty.
Between windsurfing, swimming, snorkeling, yoga, walks at the beach, cooking and making happy hour drinks for my parents, I’ve squeezed in a bit of drawing and painting. The intense sunlight and tropical fauna here are inspiring me to go a bit abstract off and on, and to pour on the colour. I can’t help it, it’s just too hard to find gloomily-lit subjects here.
You should have seen my 84-year old mother trying to use a body board at the beach today, here in Maui. She caught a wave alright — or rather, it caught her. I took a video of her, and it was clear that she never saw that wave coming. I called out to her, but the wave knocked her over. All I could see of her for split second was one foot sticking up out of the surf. She was disoriented for a few seconds when she emerged, but she’s quite tough. I am assuming she’s breaking age records for body boarding here.
To be fair, she caught a good wave earlier. I really should have drawn her, but I was too busy worrying and filming at the same time.
Back in September, a fellow Vancouver urban sketcher, and old family friend, Bob, and I went out for a morning coffee to sketch, and then had sushi for lunch, to sketch. Seriously, we drew our lovely sushi plates for about 15 minutes, and only then did we eat. Looking at food and not eating it is pretty unheard of for me. But we did it, it was fun, I didn’t starve, and best of all, sushi doesn’t get cold if you wait, just iffy.