I'm still plugging away at my daily "every day in May" sketches, though I keep asking myself if it is worth the time. I feel comfortable working on pieces like the Mardi Gras sun from yesterday. I took the picture, and I know how to graph it out and work in up as watercolor or colored pencil, and I know I'll get results I like.
This drawing on the fly, on location, is less predictable, more risky. But I want to get comfortable drawing or painting in public, and I want to train my eye better, so this is how I'm choosing to do that. Drawing in the coffee shop showed me two things. First, I need give myself enough time to complete what I start. Second, if I'm just using a pen and notebook, nobody pays any attention to me. That is a relief. I suspect, however, that if I had my little watercolor kit it would attract notice. Drawing outside showed me that I am going to have to pay attention to things like insects. I was in the shade, so no problem there, but mosquitoes and little gnats left my neck and arms itching.
All this is leading up to a challenge I set for myself for next month. I just sent in my entry fee for a plein air painting event to be held in Beloit in June. A painter friend twisted my arm (a little) and said we could work together. There are some prizes, and according to her a fairly limited field of entrants. There are cash prizes, and a sale of completed paintings. I've never done anything like this before, and I am nervous. But I'm also determined to try. So these informal sketches are a start in a new direction. If I bomb, I bomb. But I'll never know unless I try. If you want to read about the event, check it out here: