Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Hardest Thing About Sketching is Time

I've just returned from a fun and exhilarating nature festival at the New River Gorge in West Virginia--the New River Birding and Nature Festival.  This is a beautiful place and this time of year, it's a place alive with migration and beautiful wood warblers settling into their nesting territories on mountain ridges.
Time was at a premium while there.  Briefly described, my mornings began at five a.m. and if I had two hours for rest in the afternoon, I was lucky.  When the day was done, you were ready to fall into bed and the next morning, you were up and on your way to your next adventure.

When you participate in a festival of this sort, you learn so much, your eyes are opened wider, your senses are keenly alert.  Birding is about habitat, about song and about finding the bird, whether with your naked eyes, binoculars or a scope.  You're with experts that can help you do this and I for one, wanted to take advantage of every minute of it.
And this is also a time for learning a lot about yourself, your personality type, your comfort zone.  I'm a turtle!  That best describes it.  I want to soak it all in slowly.  I understood after a day or more of rest, why my mind was in such a fog when I returned home.  Thank heavens for notes, photographs and my handy reference books on my shelf.  Because, I want to remember it all.  I want to absorb it and integrate it and never forget it.  And I want to sketch it.
Not only is a sketchbook a record of what you see and feel about your journey, it helps you to integrate information that otherwise has been acquired at a fast pace.  Sketching is a time to absorb it all, remember it and relax as you let your mind play it back for you and recreate it on the page.
There were several times I wished for more time and my sketchbook--while viewing Kanawha Falls, sharing a picnic on boulders beside the Gauley River or while examining a beautiful Jack-in-the-Pulpit.  Time is at a premium every day of our lives.  And because sketching deepens my pleasure and the depth of what I've enjoyed, as much as I can manage it, it will continue to be an important part of my experience, whether before, during or after!
The above sketch was created in my sketchbook, watercolor (and ink on the bridge) on 90# coldpress Arches paper.

Click this link for more about my experiences at the New River Birding and Nature Festival. Scroll down to start at the first post.  And for information about West Virginia's New River Festival click here.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Vickie.
    I love that you share the whole process with us. This sketch is so lovely and fresh! So much nicer than photographs aren't they?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful watercolor! I learned a lot from your process...thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

Welcome! I am glad to hear your comments, questions and feedback! Vickie

Ocean Trail at Rancho Palos Verdes Preserve, California--2015

Ocean Trail at Rancho Palos Verdes Preserve, California--2015

Joshua Tree National Forest, California, with son Chad and daughter Thuan--2015

Joshua Tree National Forest, California, with son Chad and daughter Thuan--2015
Photo credit: Thuan Tram

Bird banding with Mark Armstrong at Seven Islands State Birding Park - 2014

Bird banding with Mark Armstrong at Seven Islands State Birding Park - 2014
Photo courtesy of Jody Stone

Birds Close-up

Birds Close-up
Photo courtesy of Karen Wilkenson

Enjoying Gray Jays in Churchill, Manitoba

Enjoying Gray Jays in Churchill, Manitoba
Photo courtesy of Blue Sky Expeditions

A dog sled experience with Blue Sky Expeditions, Churchill, MB--2014

A dog sled experience with Blue Sky Expeditions, Churchill, MB--2014
Photo courtesy of Blue Sky Expeditions

Churchill, Manitoba--2014

Churchill, Manitoba--2014
Photo courtesy of Blue Sky

2014 Hummingbird Festival

2014 Hummingbird Festival
Photo courtesy of Jody Stone

Smithsonian National Zoo with one of my Whooping Crane art banners and son, John--2014

Smithsonian National Zoo with one of my Whooping Crane art banners and son, John--2014

Muir Woods on the Dipsea Trail at Stinson Beach, California--2014

Muir Woods on the Dipsea Trail at Stinson Beach, California--2014
Photo courtesy of Wendy Pitts Reeves

Checking out the gulls at Stinson Beach--2014

Checking out the gulls at Stinson Beach--2014
Photo courtesy of Wendy Pitts Reeves

Discovery Hike in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska--2012

Discovery Hike in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska--2012
Photo courtesy of Ruth Carter
Related Posts with Thumbnails