Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sketching San Sebastian

 Mostly pictures today, and just a few. I've been busy attending Northern Voice social media conference, and later today I will be part of a panel on Owning Our Beauty organized by Tracey Rossignol. So many new ideas to contemplate, but no time to process at the moment. Especially since we had dinner over at Little Girl's place last night -- she's very distracting, as marvellous as only a 3-year old can be.

So until I have time to write/think more, here are some photos of the San Sebastian promenade at the beach, La Concha . . . this splendid wrought-iron railing extends the expansive length of this walk. Before we set out to join the Spaniards (well, the Basques, more properly, I suppose) on their daily constitutional, we stopped to sketch first. Paul focussed on the architecture across the bay, while I stubbornly tried and tried to capture the intricacies of the ironwork.
As you can see, I fell considerably short . . . scale and perspective are still a huge challenge for me, but I must have learned something through the exercise. Theoretically, at least, I'll be just a little bit better next time I tackle something similar. Meanwhile, I absorbed the moment as I wouldn't have otherwise. Looking at this vignette now (I painted it back in our little house in Bordeaux) I can feel the briskness of the spring morning, the warmth of the sun, the salty tang of the sea, the jackhammering of construction in the street not far away, the rhythmic, rubber-muffled percussion of runners' feet, their Spanish conversations crescendo-ing and then diminuendo-ing as they approached and then passed me.
Trying something new. Being humble in the face of what one doesn't know or can't yet do.And the exhilaration of acquiring bits of competence, beginning to acquire a scaffolding of confidence from which to build a new area to play or work or simply hang out . . . .The sketching and painting gives me this  . . . as did starting this blog 6 years ago . . . as does the Northern Voice conference for me this weekend. I'll tell you more when it's over and I find some thinking time.

Meanwhile, what are you up to this weekend? And when's the last time you tried something new, something that made you feel a bit vulnerable but also excited? You know I love hearing your stories . . . do tell!


14 comments:

  1. What a beautiful painting.

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  2. I like it. It shows you were there and you paid attention. You took the time to actually do it.
    The new things I've recently done are small, and ongoing, such as growing potatoes vertically in a mesh cage (waiting to see how that turns out), and coming up with my own recipe for salted caramel chocolate sauce. I awoke early yesterday morning and puzzled over the possibilities while lying in bed.

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    1. MMMMMmmm, hope you post that recipe! And I'm really curious as well about the potatoes.

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  3. Your work is airy and substantial at the same time; I love it!

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  4. Do you find that the sketching has you thinking about the WAY you see? Has it caused you to look differently?

    Eager to hear about your conference. We have a grandson's birthday on the agenda, and Father's Day, of course.

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    1. Not so much the sketching, at least not yet, although I do think I'm more attentive -- but I think that I'll learn more and more about colour through mixing the paints to match what I see.
      This time you're spending with your grandson living with you is sure to become such a special part of his memory.

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  5. Mater, have you thought about opening an Etzy store for your painting? They're really beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Susan -- obviously the camera is being kinder to the paintings. IRL, the flaws are pretty obvious, but I do have fun with them.

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  6. I too think your efforts are beautiful - they catch what is there. As for my weekend, I have finally caught up with my resolution to add one tiny thing each day to a year-round painting I am making (I have permission to skip several days and add in later)! I can say that you inspire me.

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    1. Thanks Marsha -- I think they at least capture that I was there.
      Your painting sounds intriguing -- a year-long project! wish I could see it!

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  7. I too think your painting is beautiful and I think that the process of making it must have made you look at surroundings differently, and enhanced your experience of place as well as your memory of it.

    I spent a day in hiding with a silly novel this weekend. This was due to a terrible headache, but I needed the break. I would love to do something new, and I think anything worth doing is probably worth the learning curve toward competence.

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    1. That's the big thing, Mardel, that the process caused me to look differently. I am such an amateur photographer, but I love that act of trying to capture what I see to share my excitement with others. Trying to draw, then paint it, intensifies that and makes me work a bit harder at it.
      I am SO very much in need of a day with an engaging but light read. I was a mess the day after the conference, and I'm going to have to find a way to make smoe downtime.

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  8. Your painting is beautiful. Isn't the process of on-the-fly plein air work one of the best things about it?

    It was a treat to run into you briefly before the conference. I apologize for interrupting your table, but I couldn't pass by without a quick nod at someone I recognized from TV, er, my computer screen. You had been on my mind because of your talk, but I had no idea we'd be in the same area at the same time engaged in the same activity. I hope your talk went well!

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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