|2/16/17 brush pen, colored pencil|
On Thursday we went to see the exhibit Tabaimo at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Although I enjoyed the show, the sun’s unexpected appearance called to me. Before we got back into the car, I took a few minutes to put into practice the exercise we learned last week in Gabi’s Pocket Urban Sketching workshop. The concept is to use a pocket-size page spread to compose a montage of three small vignettes related in some way. To be visually pleasing and more cohesive, Gabi suggests varying the three elements in size.
While I was still viewing the exhibit, I sketched a dragonfly motif from one of the pieces. Then outside the museum, I started sketching Isamu Noguchi’s Black Sun sculpture when a tour bus of teenagers suddenly climbed all around and inside the sculpture’s hole for a photo opp. I quickly scribbled them into the sketch. Finally I looked out over Volunteer Park toward the Space Needle on the horizon and made a tiny skyline at the bottom of the page. As Gabi had suggested, I wrote a few notes about the visit in the white spaces around the vignettes.
The page spread, which is 5 ½-by-7 inches, took no more than 10 minutes to complete (by that point, I was too cold to stay out longer, since the sun had dipped behind clouds). Individually, each sketch doesn’t show much, but the three together tell a more complete story about my visit to the museum and the park. I don’t usually journal much as part of my sketch page, but the spaces between images asked to be filled in with brief notes. It’s really an ideal format for travel sketching on the go – very little time consumed, yet a lot of information and memories captured.
Although I know many sketchers use this type of montage format, I’ve never put it into practice myself. Now I can easily see how to use it to my advantage in some situations. It’s an art journal technique (writing that supplements sketches) colliding with urban sketching in a way that fits some of my needs well.