House guests, new grandchild, birth celebration, wedding celebration, conversations throughout the day and into the night, and a milestone walk down to the lake with strong knees and cancer free lungs. Life returned to this house. Is sketching over? Not on your life! Sketching wherever, whenever is basic. Sketching kept me determined to make it back on two feet to the studio.
Sketches are not finished drawings. They are not particularly polished. They are the learning tools of points and planes. They are thumbnails for possible paintings. They are introductions to the subject matter. Erasures are expected, part of the process. They sharpen the eye and synchronize the hand. They are how we learn, how we visualize what could be on canvas or sculpted or constructed. Only sketches are acceptable in the FaceBook Group I started last year: Got A Minute? Sketch.
The group is casual. The only rule is that the sketches are sketches--investigative works. They can be in whatever medium the artist favors on whatever surface that's handy. There are no format or size restrictions. The last four years of unreliable health, I've been favoring graphite pencils (mostly 6B Derwent or a 314 General) in a 6" x8" Strathmore drawing pad, but then I've also doodled with watercolor, oils, markers and charcoal that can be liquidated with water. Pencil is my favorite. It's accessible. It's fast. It's clean and can be done in the parlor.
Two prolific members of the group have been inspirational. Tim Orkins and Bob Henry's daily posts kept me reaching for my stuff next to my chair in the living room. I owe them my gratitude. Their lovely, loose, spontaneous sketches mostly in ink kept me sketching, keep me sketching--maybe down by the lake this summer?