I recently travelled to
with my husband who was attending a medical conference. I use these
opportunities to do sketching from life. Thanks to Joan Martin, an active
artist and teacher, I have committed to the www. sketchbook project 2011 from Spain and chose
my theme to be “Travel with me” . New York
We stayed a few days with our friends, Heidi and Trevor Van Wyk and their three gorgeous children, Luke, Erin and Kaira. Not only did we get a real sense of Mallorcan country living but I had the wonderful experience of doing an art workshop in
Erin’s Grade 2 class. The children were so excited that I could not stop
smiling at their frenzy to learn new things.
Encouraged by the Van Wyk children’s enthusiasm I would sit with them every evening and teach them watercolour painting. Kaira, an exuberant four year old, was happy to draw from her imagination. Seven year old
Erin was inspired with some of my sketches and paintings and took to
trying to copy them, eagerly carrying out my instructions with ease. Luke, the eldest, found the painting therapeutic and also wished to
copy my work but had a very strong opinion of the colours he wanted to use. I
enjoyed his creative spirit.
My strongest memory is the image of an old man tending to his grove beside the typical low stone walls of his yard.
The light was fresh and his shadow mimicked the imprint of the one he would leave in my soul. I remembered my mother and her love of gardening. I thought on how similar this old man walked and looked like my portuguese father. All this fed into my new visual experience. I could not wait to paint him amongst the rocks and bright autumn leaves of the vineyard behind him. Something about this old man dressed in corduroy pants and button white shirt tending the earth, gave him a purpose, gave him a sense of wisdom and security and role modelled to us the act of being old .
The essence perhaps of a simpler and slower pace to this life.
The following are snippets of sketches that I did whilst in
Some took 30 minutes and others, an hour. Some were done alone whilst others were done in the presence of others.
I find it always interesting that drawing from life always highlights elements one would not normally have noticed. And the fact that I choose a subject emphasises something I identify with, making it a part of who I am, things I enjoy and moments I treasure.