Sunday, December 30, 2012

Looking Back on a Year of Sketches

6/4/12 Tombow marker, Hand Book sketchbook
This morning Gabi asked sketchers on the Urban Sketchers Facebook page to post their most memorable sketching experience of 2012. I started going through my scans of sketches from 2012, and each one called up so many vivid memories that I had difficulty choosing one to post. In fact, memories isn’t even an accurate term for the recall I experience when I look at my own sketches. I’m sure neuropsychologists or other people who study the brain could explain this phenomenon: The act of sketching embeds all kinds of sensory data along with the sketch – not just the visual data needed to draw, but also the smells, sounds, textures and everything else going on around me, even if I’m not consciously paying attention to them. So when I see the sketch, all the rest of the sensory data gets replayed along with the sketch. I’ve heard many sketchers describe this phenomenon, so I know it’s common – maybe even universal.
5/20/12 Pitt Artist pen, watercolor

The sketch I finally chose to post on Facebook was this series of gestural sketches of pelicans I made at Marina Del Rey in L.A. last June on a beautiful, sunny, warm morning. Summer hadn’t yet begun in Seattle (and wouldn’t for another month or more), so sketching outdoors wearing a T-shirt and sandals was something I had only dreamed of. This sketch evokes the cool breeze, the smell of brunch still being devoured by the rest of my party at the marina restaurant, the sound of the pelicans’ cries – and the promise of summer sketching!

But I could have just as easily picked this sketch at Magnuson Park – my very first Seattle Urban Sketchers sketchcrawl – in the rain (shivering; wondering where the nearest restroom was). Or this busker at Phinney Farmer’s Market, where I sketched nearly every Friday afternoon (the scent of fruit and pizza; the buzz of bees around the raised flower bed where I liked to set my paint box).

I wonder how I recalled anything I ever did before I began sketching!
7/6/12 Copic Multiliner SP pen, watercolor, Moleskine sketchbook


  1. It is funny how much we can recall about the day and location where we do our sketches. Thanks for sharing so much of your work this year! Happy New Year!

  2. Nice post. I remember meeting you at Magnuson! It is really hard to decide which is most memorable.

    If this was on Facebook and not the blog, I wonder what more I'm missing by not being on Facebook?

  3. Very well expressed Tina. Sketching really does make us happy.

  4. Thank you, everyone! And happy new year!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...