in 5 days …. is a fairly typical trip-rate for me!
What is not so typical is being with friends on all three occasions. Social tearoom visits can have serious impact on my sketching – it is just too hard to chat, eat scones, drink tea and concentrate on my art all at the same time. Despite my attempts to train my sketching reflexes, fancy cups of tea do command attention that I sometimes don’t give it when I am with friends.
Some tearooms are more distracting than others as well. Tea and Treasures, Port Macquarie, is a very special tearoom. Not only are the cakes and scones homemade perfection, the owners and staff so welcoming, the tea good and served in vintage china – but the whole place is FULL of collectible teacups! I want to move in and stay a week (or a month) and sketch every cup in the place.
So when I specifically ask for a complex patterned cup in order to get in the mood for my upcoming week in Sketchbook Skool… I was given a selection to choose from!
Although I wouldn’t say that I love this cup in real life it was highly sketchable. This was done after the scones were eaten and the tea drunk so I could concentrate on it.
The next day with two friends I went to a new teahouse – Immersion at the nearby town of Wauchope. Having two friends to share the experience with does help as they can carry on the conversation. I find it quite easy to listen to a conversation and sketch at the same time but having to actively lead 50% of the conversation is harder.
Just before I left to drive home on the Monday I was back at Tea and Treasures again! I thought it would be a solo sketching session but ran into friends – so it was another lovely social visit! This time I used watercolour pencils with the paint. There is no doubt that the softer variable lines suit these potentially ‘ratty’ sketching occasions.
Ah! I am always refining my techniques to suit the different situations and moods I find myself in. I constantly test myself to sketch during social occasions – the more I do it, the more my friends not only tolerate it but look forward to seeing what crazy stuff I do next – and of course the more confidence I have to make a spectacle of myself. (yes, sometimes I don’t feel in the mood to be noticed!)
Big thanks to John and Trish and the staff at T&T for the usual special treatment – it is lovely to meet people who are crazy about teacups too!