|12/12/13 Private Reserve Velvet Black ink, Canson XL 140 lb. paper|
The Seattle Art Museum’s current exhibit Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and Moon is an impressive collection of ancient Peruvian artifacts as well as paintings and sculptures from the post-colonial era. However, today was not a good day to see it, as we had to compete with about a million elementary school students on a field trip.
Needless to say, it wasn’t a good day to try to sketch the exhibit, either. But in the afternoon when most of the students had left, I found a dark corner where I could stand out of the way to sketch this silver and gold Eucharistic urn depicting a pelican (which is believed to allow its young to feed on blood from its own body – thus, the Eucharistic symbolism). The large bird had some amazing details like gemstones in its head and a brightly shimmering silver finish that I couldn’t capture, but they were stunning to see. According to the placard, it also has a moveable tongue.
This was actually my second attempt at a sketch. The first was a miserable failure in pencil that I gave up on quickly because the pencil seemed so slow and pale compared to my usual pen and ink. (Technically, I think I’m supposed to use only pencil at the museum, but a guard came by to see what I was doing three times, and he didn’t scold me for using a pen, so I decided that was permission to keep using the pen. He was certainly quick to scold others who were trying to take photos.)