In many ways this was the most special of the sketching days for my whole trip…. not so much because the work today is so much better than previous days but because of a number of special interactions and because of the tensions I had… in so many ways it sums up what sketching on location is all about.
Also, I was really getting into the creative space where I wanted to be – to push and think through ideas and scanning and posting these sketches is bringing it all back to me. I do wish that I had had a few extra days to keep going.
I actually thrive on have tensions bouncing around in my head – I find it exciting and stimulating and get easily bored if everything is too easy. So what were the tensions of today…
Hard going vs Comfort!
Hard going: being out on the street on your own struggling with tiredness, heat and humidity, sore neck/lower pain/ heavy bag,glare, wind, flies, crowds (annoying tourists) – no one to support and keep you going…and the impact that these very complaining feelings have on your work!
Comfort!: Finding a nice cafe – having a good meal, slowing down – a good tea and cake…(need I say more)
Frustrating tourists vs Special friends
Frustrating tourists: maybe the lack of caffeine, but the morning I started to get annoyed by the many tourists who look over your shoulder and don’t say anything. If I am feeling ok I will turn around and say hello to them and try to actively engage with them to stop this annoyance. Note to self- avoid Armenian St next time
Special friends: A number of very special interactions with people today and somehow once I have one of these great experiences all the hardships above disappear!
Building up the courage to be sketching in obvious locations
Despite appearances, I still have struggles at times plonking myself down in the middle of a street – in the morning it was too crowded and I didn’t want to be surrounded, in the afternoon it was too quiet (what would the locals on the jetties think?) But once you conquer these fears (as long as it is not a question of safety!) it is always worth it.
Sketching vs Painting, Trying to do good work vs experimenting, Aiming for single images vs Journal Pages, Line vs Paint, Subject vs Context, Complex vs Simplicity, Old faithful vs New art tools, Realistic vs More abstract, Fast vs Slow…
these are tensions that are always bouncing around in my head… and for some reason it was very active in my head this day!
I suppose the big point of this ramble is that these tensions are part of the process of making art. I love the process of sketching so love these tensions as well. Having the few days at the start of this trip to have this time to myself was just great!