I’ve had a few opportunities over the past months to join in on the Salem Sketchers group which meets at a different location each month to draw, sketch, or illustrate the surroundings of where ever we might be that day. At the end of the session we lay out our drawings for all to see and we share with each other what we’ve created. These drawings are photographed by nearly everyone there with smart phones, and then they are posted on Facebook for the world to see. It’s a fun way to share and inspire each other.
One month we met at a local grocery store and the artists sketched everything from apples to ziti. Isles of produce, baked goods, shopping carts, light fixtures, signs, checkout stands, whatever inspired them. Another month, we met at a local coffee shop, and the variety of inspiration, style, choice of media and individual flair is, as always, a feast for sore eyes.
The last time I joined in, we met at a wood shop (Barnwood Naturals, LLC) where the shop owner creates modern, stylish decor from old barn wood and other types of wood scraps. The products and designs he creates are used in many upscale establishments from New York to Singapore. It’s a small unassuming shop near the Willamette River, at the entrance to Riverfront Park and the walking bridge, in Salem. Artists spread out, both inside and outside the shop and found inspiration to draw from the most unexpected subjects.
The wonderful thing about drawing, and any form of representational art, is that you look at what is truly there – the form, the shape, the positive and negative spaces, the darks, the lights, the shadows, and your mind is transformed into seeing these shapes, colors, spaces, and values for what they are — not for what you know them to be or what your mind wants to imagine them being. A chair is totally different from one angle than it is from another angle. The shape of thing is defined by the space surrounding it.
It helps to draw frequently in oder to get a good grasp of this concept. I’m grateful to the Salem Sketchers for having these sketch meets, since it inspires me to set aside a time where and when I can devote my attention to art of drawing. I need to practice this on a daily basis. AND I’m going to start doing that, since it’s been a trial to get myself motived to paint lately. All my excuses are wound up in not having the time, the organized space, or the energy. So I’ll take those baby steps to overcome the creative blocks I’ve set up for myself. Drawing is a simple way to allow yourself the luxury of exercising your creative side. All you need is a pencil and paper! How about a napkin? Many artists have started with a napkin drawing to inspire great works. ( …And if I’m ever renowned like Picasso, my napkins will sell for millions. But that’s another fantasy.)
Soon, I’ll be joining forces with Paint the Town 2016. This will give me the motivation and enthusiasm to paint en plein air once again. I’m very excited!