…another “secret” unlocked! It really validates everything for me and what I have done for years when I receive an email like the one that arrived in my inbox yesterday.
“You often show sampling and sketching and how it leads up to a final piece. I tend to ‘noodle’ a lot in my head and do little sketching (paper or fabric) even though you and others have always been persuasive about the value of taking the ‘noodling’ and working it out some more in a sketch.
As a piece is progressing I sometimes photograph it and play with a small print, however, that is more for color composition than anything else. The other weekend I went to a Lawren Harris exhibit. The work they showed of his was mainly his Toronto Ward paintings which I was not familiar with, and his northern paintings which I was.
Bad prints of his northern work displayed in schools and public places caused me not to explore his work, until I saw an original of one of his snow covered mountains. Since then I have enjoyed originals. At any rate, in the northern exhibit, I saw his field sketches, then how he reworked those sketches in studio, then did one or more board painted sketches, culminating in the large piece. It was the final persuasion I needed on the value of sketching and doing samples of the final piece.
I want to add that I found the progression from the realism of the first field sketch through how he refined it to reflect an essence, a truth, what emotion he wanted to express is part of what makes his work so powerful.
I attended the Lawren Harris exhibition with a friend, but had stuck in my bag my small folder with a sketch pad and lead & charcoal pencils. At one point I sat in front of one of the final pieces and sketched not so much what I was seeing but how the various elements played and interacted with each other. That is something I have never done before but it is a testament of how you have encouraged me to grow. Thanks once again for such a good lesson, Anna.” (published with permission!)
Thanks for brightening my day, Sharilyn! It often takes times to see and appreciate the value of sketching and putting marks on paper to capture a concept or capture an idea for later reference. Sharilyn has had her break through… do you use sketching or mark making in your process? Share in the comment section below. I am always interested in finding out how followers of this blog engage in the creative process!