Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Training Session

Right, I am off training, keeping myself artistically fit.  It is a very cold winter afternoon.  The wind is howling and it will be dark soon.  I have dashed out to get my "fix" of the sea.  First of all scramble to the top of the cliff, it is a great view from there but when I get there it is way too windy to attempt to draw.  I struggle with my back pack and find my little camera, snap a few pictures of the surf.  It looks and sounds great from up here but the pictures don't do it justice.  So I call the dog, voice lost on the wind, she sees me flapping about and follows me back down to the beach.
It is high tide so there is no beach but I find a space to sit, out of the wind, tucked in between some rocks.  Now I wait and watch.  Trying to see, trying not to assume I concentrate on looking.  After doing this staring thing for a while I feel as if I have waves in my head, I am at one with the wave and have become flotsam and jetsum!  So suitably zenned up I get out my scraps of cardboard and start to draw.
I am using big pens and bits of cardboard box, sometimes I believe it is necessary to just look and draw, not for any other reason than to train.  Yes, that's it, training.  Like a runner or a swimmer would train hard all the time to keep fit, to try to be better. This is what an artist must do.  Out early or after work, fit it in... this is my training.
So that I keep on my toes and don't get fooled into doing anything other than looking and drawing I try using other materials, don't get precious about paper, this isn't for sale, not even to show anyone (except I have just shown you)  
Draw on anything, make your hand do what you want it to do, look more at what you see and less at your drawing, soak it up and breathe it in.  This is why making art is so good for you.  How can you worry about anything when you have to become so absorbed in your subject?
After a while I am too cold and need to head home where I will try to get some of the waves out of my head and into a painting.

10 comments:

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Love it! You are sooooo blogged for Sunday! :)

Nita said...

Yes, yes, yes! Drawing JUST to draw IS the way!

Patricia said...

This is the most inspiring post that I have ever read.

Laureline said...

Oh, yes! Wonderfully inspiring, Sarah! I envy your living so close to the sea, too, of course, but this post is like a breath of invigorating ocean air for inlanders like me!

Lindsay said...

I love the simple tools and the act of looking!

Jane Moxey said...

Fantastic post. I'm a quiltmaker and have happily stumbled onto this wonderful blog which I find myself checking every day. You conjure the picture with your words too. Thank you so much.

vivien said...

great post!


and I so agree about the 'training' and observing and digesting - I stress it to my students.

Jeanette said...

Its so true. It IS training, no different than a swimmer or a runner to keep in top form.

Its a mantra that I tell beginners over and over...observe, watch, look much more than you draw.

annie said...

I love this post, too, Sarah. Deep involvement like this puts us right in the middle of NOW, the best place to live.
annie

Karen said...

Art as meditation. This post is delicious. Thank you!