Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On-Site Sketching: European Flashback

My recent sketching outing brought out my big sketchbook and a retrospective look at my own process of learning to draw as we leafed through its pages, warped by rain or pressed plants, a little dog-eared. Travel in Europe, at home in Virginia and Savannah, and a cross-country road trip across the US presented opportunities to figure out a landscape or a path or a building, rather, to illustrate/document my perception of it. Here are a few ON-SITE:
I went to Europe with the architecture students and professors in 1998. I really struggled to LEARN how to DRAW my perception. To make a drawing that was more than my photograph, that communicated how I perceived the place. After many frustrating attempts, tis was the first close encounter, drawing the path I walked in St. Malo (France) and the changing facades and views and I moved, with three still vignettes on the side.

This is where it really CLICKED. About halfway into my three-month tour, exploring the small towns around the southern end of Lago di Lugano in southern Switzerland, I walked up the steps from the main road/highway, drawing the stepped path and adjacent side elevation of the building. Turning left onto the quiet lane behind the street-fronting shopfront buildings, drawn in plan, with a perspective of the stepped path up framed by the opening through neighboring buildings. Back on the streetfront where I began, a small cobblestone road climbing south and retaining wall - and the loggia of the shopfront building - in perspective. From the loggia, a section through the building. Down the back lane, in plan, to the edge of a three-story building, section. Standing at this corner, the view up splintering stair paths further into the village, and down, a tight squeeze through building walls under an arched opening.Descending from the hiking path through steeply terraced rocky coastline from where I'd drawn the rooftops view of Monterosso, I drew the walls and doors and other paths as they unfolded from the stepped path I walked into town, as well as the perspective view up and out toward those mountains which enfold the village.
Ascending a stepped path from the harbor heart of Vernazza, second in the Cinque Terre chain of villages along the Adriatic coast.
I found a quiet church yard in Positano, Italy, 1998, sketching in-the-round from the center of the square. A small cat sought my attention and eventually climbed up my leg to perch where my bag, slung over shoulder, rested on my hip. It rode with me as I walked slowly around the yard, drawing the facades that enclosed it.

Lucca, Italy, 1998. Old Roman colosseum, fully enclosed by a ringed block of shops and flats. I tried to trace the movement of the shadow in the courtyard.

I made this drawing on-site at a dynamic intersection of streets in Paris, in 2000, during an futbol game which I overheard from the bar.

1 comment:

Kym Bullough said...

You are so amazing! I just love following your blog. Thanks for posting!