Sunday, October 30, 2016

Memories Without the Mess

10/28/16 brush pen, colored pencils

When I was a kid, our Halloween tradition was to get a pumpkin from the grocery store. (Back then, the only choice was the ordinary orange kind – not the 76 varieties of stripes, spots, multi colors and gross warts that you can get now.) I would use a marker to draw the face. I hated the mess of cleaning out the guts, so my mom got stuck with that task. Finally my dad would use his pocket knife to carve my design. A candle would go inside, and our Jack-o-lantern would greet trick-or-treaters on the porch on Halloween night.

10/28/16 brush pen, colored pencils
Friday afternoon brought back those fun memories for me at the Northgate Community Center, which sponsored a free pumpkin carving contest. I get enough of cleaning out squash guts whenever we have them for dinner, so I declined on the free pumpkin. Instead, I brought my sketchbook.

Wherever I looked, families were hard at work. I was impressed by all the kids who took their task very seriously. Wincing a bit, I watched a young girl wielding a grown-up knife to carve her pumpkin with much care and determination. Another young girl held a paint brush in each hand to decorate hers. Some kids simply enjoyed scooping out pumpkin innards with their bare hands.

10/28/16 brush pen, colored pencils
Children weren’t the only ones being creative. While dad entertained the child, a mom wearing a festive fairy tiara plopped a huge pumpkin in her lap and followed a design worked out on paper as she carved.

Since I don’t have any young kids in my life, this is the kind of community event I probably would have skipped before I became a sketcher. But with my sketchbook, I got to join the fun – without all the sticky pumpkin guts.  

10/28/16 ink, colored pencils

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