Sunday, July 5, 2015

Taking an Art Field Trip

My drawing of the Gatehouse at Adamson's Estate. I was mostly interested in the upper floor balcony and the stairs... I just kind of filled in the gardens with marks to suggest the plants. If I had brought colour I might have taken it a bit further.
Adamson's Estate in Port Credit, Ontario,
the grounds turned into a park along the waterfront. A
lovely spotto go and draw. And very close to my home. 
After bemoaning my sad state last week, I felt like I needed to take a step back and figure out a way to do what I love and make a living without burning out. I've taken on too much, and I need a break... I need to refresh myself and remember why I'm doing this in the first place. I love to draw. I love to paint. I know it's something that I need to do to be happy. It's all the other stuff that seems to be taking the fun out of it. 

I've decided that for the next little while I'm not going to be taking on anything new. No shows, no art fairs, no courses. I have already committed to a show in August, which is really just a simple hanging and take down with a few weeks in between. Easy. I've got an application out for a show in October, but I won't even know if I'm doing that one until the end of July. That's it. Other than that, I'm going to be focusing on doing some work just because I want to, and participating in events that I think are going to be fun, not stressful. Hopefully, this will renew my love of all things arty, and give me back that wonderful sense of anticipation before an evening spent in my studio.

You can tell my friend Marion has done this before...
she's got this great set up with a chair, table and bag all
attached with backpack straps to carry it. Everything
portable and in one unit.
I started out this week, planning an outing with a friend to a local spot to draw. It turned out to be a lovely day, and the site she chose was perfectly situated right down by the lake. I've been to this spot before, but never to draw... usually I was with my husband and dogs for our weekly Sunday afternoon long walk. One dog is gone now and the other can't go that far anymore, so its been a while. I had forgotten how lovely it is in the summer. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take photos here, or I would have. It is very popular for weddings, and I think without making it permit only the place would be over-run with wedding parties in the summer months. I got in a couple drawings (and snuck a couple shots with my phone of little things I wanted to remember), before my stomach started grumbling and I lost concentration. A really nice way to spend a couple hours outdoors in the nice weather.

I found this tree that has the
coolest bark ever. It'll make a
great texture in a background.
I've been reading V Jane Gordon's book on the Artist Inquiry method, so the first thing I did was walk around and do a couple quick drawings of interesting things I found... the texture of bark, the cracks in the old stone, that kind of thing. But eventually I just sat down to draw the buildings, because that's what I felt like doing. I haven't really done much of this since I was in Europe, some 25 years ago. I still have that sketchbook, and I treasure it... and when I flip through it I can remember every site, the people I met and how I felt when I was there. There's something about drawing a subject that burns it into your memory... I really should take a new sketchbook with me on every trip and make a point of filling it with memories. It's hard to do when you're travelling with another person (other than another artist who is doing the same thing), but I'm sure if I wanted to do it, Hubs would find something to keep himself occupied with. He's good like that.
The stairway leading up to the side door of the main house. I could have carried on with this one, but
I was hungry. Once my tummy starts grumbling, I lose all concentration. Time to go home.