Thursday, December 17, 2020

Drawing Jam Goes Virtual


12/12/20 Model Shawna at virtual Drawing Jam (I did this
15-or-so-minute pose without any shorter warm-ups... ooof!
It's never a good idea to suddenly sprint without at least

In the Before Times, I looked forward to Gage Academy’s Drawing Jam all year long. I’ve been attending annually since 2012. The event included life drawing of all types, instructor demos, studio tours, art and craft for sale, live music, and free art supplies donated by local stores. When the day of the Jam finally came, I would try to arrive an hour before opening time to compete for parking and then stand in line so I could storm the doors for a good space in my favorite life-drawing studio. (One year I did that even though it was 20 degrees! But that was preferable to the time it poured.) I didn’t mind waiting because it was fun to chat with other participants in line who were equally enthusiastic. I would stay until I was exhausted but exhilarated by the high energy of Gage’s lively, supportive community.

Last Saturday, I was happy not to stand outdoors for an hour – it was 36 degrees. I simply carried my coffee upstairs, turned on my laptop, and I was “there.” Sigh. I sure miss the Before Times.

Nonetheless, there was one distinct advantage to Jammin’ on Zoom: The instructor demos were so much easier to view compared to crowding around an easel, peeking between other attendees’ shoulders. Typically, I spend most of my Jam time in various life-drawing studios and only catch demos when I happen to get a good spot. This year it was the other way around: I popped my head into one life-drawing session for a few minutes, but the majority of time was spent taking advantage of the better viewing opportunities in demos.

I was dazzled by Kristin Frost's demo as this cardinal emerged with colored pencils
over a 2-hour period. Her excellent video quality and detailed, informative 
explanations made the demo especially worthwhile.
One was especially impressive and a medium of interest – Kristin Frost’s demo of drawing a cardinal with colored pencils. I appreciated how thoroughly and clearly she described every step as she worked. She also had good video and audio equipment, which made viewing her two-hour demo enjoyable as well as informative. I would have paid for that demo – it was that good. (Instead, I made a donation to Gage, which put on Drawing Jam free this year.)

Although virtual Drawing Jam wasn’t nearly as much fun as the real thing, we’re all making do as well as possible. I continue to support Gage in whatever way I can because I want it to be there when we emerge on the other side – safe to attend Drawing Jam in person again.

Kathleen Moore's still life demo

Patricia Watwood's demo of drawing a hand (Ya think I might be interested in that one?)

Gabi Campanario demos his ink and wash technique during a virtual sketch walk at the Fremont Troll. (It was fun to "see" several Seattle urban sketchers in attendance at this demo.)

Gabi invited attendees to sketch the image of the troll, found on Google Street View, along with him.

In 2013, Peggy (magenta jacket) and I froze our toes in 20-degree weather, happily waiting to storm the doors at Drawing Jam. Ah, the good ol' days.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you were able to enjoy it even if it was different than in years past. Looks like some fun demos!


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