Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Drawing in public
One of my goals has always been to be able to produce interesting travel sketches. I adore looking at illustrated travel diaries, and want to be able to do my own. However, there are some problems for me. First, I am just shy about having people look over my shoulder at something unfinished, and comment. My face burns, and sometimes my hands shake. I know in my heart that nobody is going to be critical or cruel, that in fact people are fascinated by artists. Still, I am uncomfortable in public.
I did draw on this Ohio River cruise, but only from photos I had prepared. I had some reasons for that. First, when we were touring the towns where the American Queen stopped, I was with my husband. He wasn't interested in sitting and waiting for me to finish a sketch. In addition, it was high summer hot most days. We walked and dripped, then returned to shower and cool down. I mostly wanted to see what I could see then get back into the shade near our stateroom. Finally, I am not very skilled, or even interested, in drawing architecture. I probably need to work more on drawing houses, barns, shops and so on. Oh well.
It was interesting to me that when I was working on these sketches, mostly in public, very few people interrupted or commented. However when I got out my little travel watercolor set and tried wee paintings of the shore (death by greenery), every other person stopped to look and comment. The watercolor sketches were intended as gifts for our partners at the dinner table, and I added our names and addresses as a little souvenir. They weren't very large or detailed, but they were one-of-a-kind, and our new friends seemed pleased.