Noise And Quiet

Sketching on location always brings times of noise and quiet. And I love both.

I’ve sketched in many noisy places. A recent one was at an arcade area in a large indoor fun-park that had laser tag, batting cages, mini-golf, and bumper cars. I sat with my back against a wall on the floor with two arcades sitting across from me. The room was full of beeping machines, lights flashing, excited voices, and all kinds of music and sounds. But I enjoyed the sketch time and have a fun memory of the place.

Chicago is bustling and noisy. It’s hard to find anywhere that is quiet. Sometimes I enjoy the noises and all that is going on around me, and they are fun to capture in a sketch. Oak Street Beach was filled with bikers, walkers, families, and sunbathers. I found a shady bench and watched the “show” in front of me. A woman sat on the edge of the sidewalk curb by a bunch of rental bikes and I liked the contrast of her and the row of bikes. The beach was packed with people and noise, but I chose to just sketch just this small slice of life.

Sketching in quiet places is also interesting too. In June our Urban Sketching Twin Cities group sketched at a nature center. I walked a trail behind the center and noticed two stumps in the ground, across the trail from one another. I looked at the fungi and grass growing out of them, so in the quiet (with occasional walkers going by), I sketched these two stumps. I found myself in a calm reflective state as I sketched…until it began to sprinkle.

Another quiet time of sketching was closer to home. I found a lovely pond with a fountain in a nearby subdivision. I noticed the large landscaping rocks around part of the pond, so found a bench in the shade and began sketching. It was fairly quiet, and I enjoyed the breezes, bird sounds, and occasional car sounds, and slowly the rocks and foliage came to life on my page…

I invite you to go out of your comfort zone and sketch in a noisy or quiet area, then compare your two experiences. What did you like best? The quiet or bustling activity and noise? Share with other blog viewers here, I’d love to hear what you think!

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