As we adjust to the “new normal” of being stuck in our homes, I followed the lead of other urban sketchers and started a “lock-down sketchbook”. We are not in official lock-down quite yet, but I am expecting we will get there soon. My family and I are pretty much staying at home except for essential trips out for the most part. I got an 8.25″ x 11.75″ Moleskine portrait sketchbook many months back, but grabbed the sketchbook instead of the watercolor book. Thus the paper is cream-colored and heavy, but does not have textured paper for watercolor. It is smooth and I don’t quite like how it works with watercolor, but I decided for quick everyday sketches of whatever I decide to draw, it will work OK.
I started sketching my dog again a couple days ago. She moves a lot, so in a matter of a half hour, I had several poses. I used a mechanical pencil and watercolor (this sketch was done in a watercolor Moleskine book).
Yesterday, I took the dog for a walk and then walked around my house, observing plants that were starting to appear in my rocks and dirt. I breathed in the cold air (36 F) and found a spot behind our garage where we keep our yard waste cans. The spot gets sunny in the afternoon, so I sat there and sketched a remaining snow drift and the cans. I listened to the quiet neighborhood, the silence sometimes broken by birds, a car going by, a neighbor playing outdoors with his child, and a friendly “Ruff!” from my neighbor’s dog on the other side of the fence. It was nice to sit in the sun and reflect on how much our world as we know it has changed, but there are things in my life that really haven’t changed all that much. The cans (and a dead plant) are where I left them last fall and spring is starting to show itself, no matter what. It was relaxing to sketch in the sun and I enjoyed being out of the house.
Today, I watched as my dog stood begging with her eyes to have a bite of my daughter’s toast and peanut butter. She stood statue-still, so I decided to sketch her. She alternately sat and stood, her eyes locked on the toast until my daughter popped the last bit in her mouth. They both went to the family room and I sketched them hanging out on the rug together. My daughter got a red T-shirt in Florida with a VW bus on it with a surfboard, which she was wearing with gray sweatpants. I liked the shirt view and her posture with her long hair slung over her back. The dog sat still long enough to be part of the picture.
Another change is coming soon, I think. My hubby set up his computer from work on our dining room table today, which is different. He’s doing a trial run to make sure he can access all his work stuff. I sketched the set up with an ink pen.
For my sanity, I have decided I need to get outside (or inside) and sketch every day. Urban sketchers say we “see the world, one drawing at a time” and I have seen many sketches done around the world of people’s apartments, animals, family members, and outdoor activities, if their governments let them outside. Check out the urban sketching website…. http://www.urbansketchers.org, or look for Urban Sketchers on Facebook. People post sketches from all over the world. It’s interesting to read and see visually the ways people are coping with our new reality. What do you find helpful as you face more time at home? Does sketching help you cope with the situation? Stay safe and well, and keep sketching!