Sunday, May 22, 2016

Shanghai and Sketching

     Here is "Winter Pond" that has gone of to be in an exhibit in Shanghai. This view was a few years ago - now I find myself wondering if - with climate change- it will ever happen again. As it was, it was one of those "miracle" days when, instead of snow being followed by grey skies and rain, we got snow and then a few crisp sunny days. Sturgeon Banks, just beyond the dyke, was a beautiful sight with sunshine on bulrushes making a great contrast to the shadows and highlights of the snow. It was a great day to be out. I can relive the day when I see the painting - or even a photo of the painting since it now seems the painting is destined to live elsewhere.
     The Travel section of the weekend Globe and Mail runs a series of first-person stories from the road. This week, features "The pencil is mightier than the flash" by David Gillett on the joys of sketching. He tells about sketching in Oxford and notes, "Even now, five years later, I can flip open to these pages and smell the clematis that wound around the solid columns, hear laughter and the crack of a croquet ball on the lawn behind us, see the radius of the Palladian arches, feel the warmth of the May morning sun as it fluttered through the dappled leaves of Oxford. One look at the sketch and it all comes back to life."  This is so true- it is nice to have photos but sketches somehow penetrate the memory much deeper so that all the senses bring their parts to the remembrance. Apparently some art museums- such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam  are now encouraging deeper looking by providing sketching materials so that visitors will pause and sketch to greater enjoyment than snapping a photo and quickly moving on. I've been out sketching columbines in the garden for a future painting. Somehow, drawing helps you see more.  I think I will have to get back to even more frequent sketching.

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