Sketching in Public

A skech I did of part of a Fra Angelico and Chardin drawn at the Louvre

A sketch I did of part of a Fra Angelico and Chardin drawn at the Louvre

I’ll admit it.  I draw in public places.  The drawing you see here I did in the Louvre last May while traveling with a group of students from George Fox Univeristy.  I find myself often “combining” things in my sketch book, as it is a place to put ideas down; and often they just are drawn in, in the the order I saw or thought of them. The objective is not to get a finished product per-say as it is to render form or an idea.

In the sketch you see I drew the dog from a Chardin painting first, then, while waiting for my colleague Steve, I sat in front of a Fra Angelico crucifixion and integrated the dog into his composition.  Additionally I included myself, or at least a figure that represented us in our time at the foot of the cross.  On the upper left of the sketch is a rendering of the over all Fra Angelico image.

Sad to say I’m not much for being “watched” while I sketch.  In fact I dislike it very much.  So much so I have stopped and moved when I have found someone wathcing me.  To me the creation process is very personal and vulnerable.  I’m happy to show someone the art or even the sketch when I am done, but the creation process to me is risky.

This May while in the Mauritshis Museum at the Huage in Amsterdam I was sketching a Rembrandt only to have a kind women gaze over at my work and tell me that my drawing looked wonderful. The drawing had just begun and was a patch of scribbles; perhpas she thought I was rendering a Pollock.

I don’t ask to read what others are journaling in public.   I guess art being a “visual” meida – folks think if you are in public doing it, it’s an open game.

If you run onto me in a museum drawing, all I ask is that you ask first before craning your neck around my shoulder.  I’d apprecriate it.  Perhaps I’ll have more than a mess of scribbles.

About abiggerworldyet

Visual Artist Brother Sojourner College Professor Christ follower
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1 Response to Sketching in Public

  1. inknform says:

    Good point! 110% in agreement 🙂 I too have that urge to stop when I realize someone is watching me work. In fact, I never even like my wife to watch as I’m sketching, no matter what it is. I think the process should be on a more personal level between the artist and the subject at hand.

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