Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Plein air ... therapy

plein air or plein-air (plān'âr', plě-něr') Pronunciation Key

  1. Of or being a style of painting produced out of doors in natural light.
  2. Taking place outdoors.
Today after Susan and I had lunch, and saw her off at the train station. I wandered. We had plans to go to William's together, then I had an offer for a photography class with a master photographer and Sue got another friend to go with her to Williams. Well, found out late last night the photographer canceled so that left me to find other plans. (Which usually isn't hard to do, since I've been making a list of continuous things to do).

With my back pack full of art supplies: camera, 300mm lens, sketch book, a tin filled with various drawing pencils and several of my favorite rapidographs (drafting pens), my journal and salty snacks I walked up the rim for a little bit until I felt the urge to sit on a wall and draw. Taking deep breaths I ignored the people who came up and took pictures of both myself and what I was drawing tuning them out and did what I think is a good rough sketch.

This is just an outcrop seen from an alcove behind a screen of trees. Rather then using my regular 4h pencil which creates an extremely light picture I chose instead my 4b, which is a softer lead enabling me to create deeper shadows. Sitting in the shade I started getting really chilly as the afternoon air started turning colder so I packed up with the intention of moving on, until I felt the urge to sit in plain sight of EVERYONE and start on the canyon itself. As I started laying the ground work of shadows I heard a lady retort "that's ugly", I just smiled and breathed deep concentrating. The only thing existing at that point became the canyon and I, though my peripheral vision picked up shadows of bodies off to the side. I heard the clicking of cameras and kept my head down and my hand moving, thinking to myself 'they're taking pictures of the canyon'. One voice did penetrate my 'wall', a gentleman said 'that's daunting'. I smiled to myself and concentrated on one point in the canyon, and started the one above it.

Using my 7b pencil the even softer lead gave better depth to the shadows and rock formations. The scribbling turned into points, rock crevices and places where land slides occurred. The wind started picking up and my hands became very cold; it was time to stop. Looking up, no one was around, I yawned and felt like I just woke up.

The most resonate
Sound I heard in the stillness
Was spirit waking