Last week I took my second sabbatical and I knew from the start that it was going to be a challenge. Not only was it the week before Christmas but also I had lots of home chores to do, and numerous appointments.
I further discovered, after chatting to Sean McCabe (from whom I got the sabbatical concept) and a few people from the seanwes community during the week, that most people find the second sabbatical hard. The first one is a novelty but the second seems to contain a tension between guilt for not working, high expectations of what could be achieved and a conviction that rest should be the priority. One week is not enough to try and do all three and that was exactly how I felt!
However while deciding what I should be doing, I had a little sketching outing with two friends in The Rocks area. I did this warmup sketch (starting with shape first) of our view from Foundations park whilst still maintaining a constant conversation (ie. I was somewhat distracted). This was done in my A4 moleskine watercolour book which I use for sketch outings.
And I then did a second version in my current daily sketchbook (A5 landscape Stillman and Birn Alpha softcover 8.5 x 5.5) drawing the lines first.
I still had 1.5 hours until my dentist appointment so I found myself sitting at one of my favourite spots in Sydney, the small park called Hickson Road Reserve that is just out from under the Harbour Bridge with views of the Sydney Opera House (SOH) and the city. I know that it is very cliche to sketch the SOH but I just love it, and find it a wonderful subject for experimental sketching.
Ah! it was so good to be out sketching like this – I have really missed being able to do this often in 2016. Despite the need for catching up on home chores during my sabbatical week, this sketching just for me was exactly what I needed!
Let’s hope that I will be about to schedule more times like this in 2017. I love catching up with my sketching friends, but to do my best work, to reach the state of flow which I am always searching for, and to connect fully with my subject matter, I need to be sketching by myself.
It was also wonderful to have this quiet, calm moment to pause within the craziness of December.
What about you? Did you find any quiet moments last week to sketch?
And finally I hope you had a wonderful (Christmas) weekend.