Recent Sketches

I’ve been enjoying sketching a variety of subjects recently. A few friends and I have been meeting weekly via Zoom for drawing sessions. One person selects photos and pins them, and then we all sketch them for 20 minutes. We do three photos each week, sharing our drawings after each photo. It’s been a very enjoyable and inspiring way to meet during this ongoing time of Covid distancing. Some weeks we have sketched dancers, since one of the artists has a niece who is a dance instructor and is also a wonderful photographer, and other times we’ve sketched wild mustangs. I think one of these weeks we might sketch elk and bison. I have always loved sketching wildlife and have been surprised how much I’ve enjoyed sketching dancers.

Three quick sketches of one image in 20 minutes; I liked the idea of overlapping and also using different mediums.

(Click on images to view full size)

I took my mother for her two Covid vaccinations in February and, while she was inside the Westchester County Center, I waited outside sketching people. Some were standing on line waiting to go inside; others, like me, were waiting for family members who were inside. I also sketched a couple of the National Guardsmen and local policemen who were keeping it all organized. It was chilly (okay cold), but, as always, I enjoyed the challenge of doing quick sketches of people who weren’t holding one position for long. I think my Zoom drawing sessions have helped me capture proportions more quickly. I sketched on location with ballpoint pen and later added watercolor to one of my sketchbook pages. Ramble was with me, and he loved all the attention from people who came over to admire and greet him.

We’ve had a wonderfully snowy February, and Ramble loves leaping in the snow. I took some photos of his joyful cavorting while snowshoeing in Choate Audubon Sanctuary behind my mother’s house, and later sketched from my photos.

After one snowfall the branches were all frosted with white, so I did a gouache sketch of one of our old black locust trees with snow-topped branches.

When I was back home after a week away (I got snowed in at my mother’s), I sketched Stephen and Ramble as Stephen read to me by the fire.

More Front Porch Sketches

As the days warm up (at least for this week, who knows what next week will bring), more people and dogs are out enjoying the fresh air, sunshine, and quarantine-quiet roads. And I continue to enjoy watching and sketching many now familiar figures, as well as new ones.

Today was my weekly Quiet Day– a sabbath-like day I take most Saturdays to read, pray, and generally rejuvenate myself, as I relish God’s gift of rest and refreshment in a time of solitude and silence. And of course sketching is a part of that. Somehow when I pick up sketchbook and pen, I almost invariably find myself praying for at least some of time I’m sketching, sometimes in words of praise and worship, sometimes in prayer for others, and often just in quiet communion with God– prayer without words.

Some of my sketches “turn out,” others barely look like people, but all help me to see the dozens of people who go by as individuals, each unique in some way or another, each bearing the image of God in their being. For me, this season of Covid seems to be a time of focusing on people, whether my son and his family whom I’m here to help; or our other children and grandchildren in Texas, dealing with homeschooling all of a sudden, and North Carolina, adjusting to a new baby; or neighbors walking by, some of whom I meet as I walk my dogs; or my family at home in New York caring for my aged and ailing father; or the many people I know who are ill or at-risk or lonely because of Covid. Sketching my neighbors walking by is a daily reminder to consider all these people, those whom I know and those whom I have not yet met, and bring them before our loving God in prayer.

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