Monday, October 10, 2011

Sketching Woes

Oh my, after a couple of weeks of slow, contemplative painting I went out this weekend for some fast on-the-spot sketching and was all at a loss as to where to begin, middle or end. Its scary how quickly the confident line escapes when not in daily practice! But for the sake of keeping the blog updated, I'll post some of my not-great sketches anyway, and hope to do some better ones soon.
I went to the Rose Gardens in the nearby park on Saturday - the early roses not quite out yet but lots of springily dressed young women, with many photos being taken on mobile phones of poses amongst the fountains and trees.
Yesterday I drove into the city, to Main Street Life, an 70's industrial building that is under refurbishment and together with Arts on Main down the road, is an island of art, good accomodation and cultural activity in an otherwise rather grubby, ugly part of Joburg. The rooftop of the building was the venue for a charity event, 1000 Drawings, where people are invited to draw or doodle on A5 paper to be sold on one night in November for R100 each regardless of artist or artwork. Excited to see the city so close, I had to try a cityscape sketch, and then turned to the other drawers - no one that I noticed was sketching the surroundings or people, most were bent over their own creations of  doodles and illustrations. I continued to struggle to get down a flowing, happy line, but by the last sketch, thought it was slowly returning to my faltering pen. Must not leave it in my bag for so long again!!



What a fantastic sketches, Cathy! :)

dinahmow said...

Oh! I know what you mean about losing the momentum! I struggled to draw a chap on a bike, but stuck it on the blog anyway because it illustrated a point.
Your people look fine to me.

brendon bussy said...

Been following your blog for a while. I used to do a lot of plein air type sketching and painting and now do the equivalent with sound (I've become a 'sound artist' - I guess you could call it).
I really like the way you draw - you really see your environment and manage to capture the essential in the fleeting. Wonderful!

Your remark about the other sketchers being fixated on the small world bordered by the edge of their pads is very telling - a pity that they seemed to be ignoring that 'outside' world that you capture so well!
Even though I draw outdoors very infrequently nowadays, I still do the equivalent with my ears - our environment is too filled with inspiration to ignore it!

RH Carpenter said...

Gosh, Cathy, I wish I could sketch like this and think they are wonderful; but I do know you have higher standards :)

Ileta said...

Following You happily for like three weeks...Your sketches are so authentic one can really know more about your part of the world! Thanks for sharing them.

Barbara Moore said...

Oh Cathy,
You are so right about needing to keep the pen flowing...I have been so busy working for the Watercolour Society and new Art Society Africa that now that I am in Kruger, tremulously opening sketchbook and decapping pen, my sketches of hornbills and buffaloes would make you weep!
But your sketches are so uplifting and encouraging so I will keep going and get right back into the rusty old groove.
Lovely sketches - you make Joburg come to life....I love the city and so enjoy your views of it.

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks AnAis and Dinah!

Hi Brendon - I think I may have come across some of your sound work on the internet - you're in Cape Town? Really interesting and you're right about the inspiration - the more you do the more you see (or hear!)
The other sketchers were probably more sociable than I was, chatting in between drawing, and I think getting lost in your own world has its merits but I'd love to have more urban sketchers join our little group!

Rhonda, as someone who pushes herself hard and tirelessly, your standards are sky-high!

Ileta, thank you - I can't see who my followers are for some reason so sorry I haven't visited you back yet - I will right now!

Barbara, my attempt at buffaloes in Zambia made me weep, I'm sure yours will be back on form very quickly - lucky you in the Kruger!

mystified soul said...

hey i loved your sketches... :) i love doing live sketching all the time rather than just sitting within four walls and trying to sketch. live sketching brings lots of reality on the paper. i am a student of architecture and thus i keep visiting places and puuting them on my sketchpad.... it was really nice to read ur blog... :) said...

your not so good sketches look pretty damn fine to me. Love the one of the buildings!

Bridget Hunter said...

Nothing wrong with these sketches Cathy. You've a lovely way with simple linework.

 .ѕтєρнιѕтя¥™! said...

i love your work =]