Friday, July 16, 2010

Artist Date -- Outdoor Band Concert

For many years I've been a somewhat faithful devotee of The Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron.  I  follow some of the disciplines I found from my reading and practice of her principles, one of those being the Artist Date.   I also refer to this book quite often for a variety of reasons (feeling stuck, for one) and highly recommend it to all who hear the call from their own Inner Artist.

“An Artist Date is a block of time...especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist.”

I put in a long day at work yesterday plus a lot of driving.  I felt drained when I finally got home, around 5.  For a few days, I’d been planning to go to a band concert on the Litchfield Green and practice drawing people.  After I got home, I thought to cop to exhaustion but after some rest and thought decided that rather sink into lethargy and wilt in the heat, I’d get up and go.

Dan and I had a tradition of attending every Litchfield Band Concert on the Green for many years.   We’d take a picnic supper and go early so we could talk and people-watch.  Out of respect for his wanting attention and to talk, I always left my sketchbook at home.  When I’m sketching or painting, I tend to drop out and he wasn’t comfortable with my being there but not there.  Since Dan died, almost 2 years ago, I’ve been to 3 band concerts; 2 last year and the one last night.  At one of last summer’s band concerts, I was wishing I had thought to bring my sketch book.  So last night, I brought closure to that thought and showed up for my Artist Date,  a little after the concert started, toting my lawn chair and sketch book.

Before I left home, I needed to decide which sketch book and what medium and after much thought, decided on the ‘sketchbook with the bright paper’ and a Pilot Sharpie Fine Point.  I also brought one BIC mechanical pencil in case the Sharpie ran out of ink.   I limited myself to as few art supplies as possible.  I chose that particular sketchbook and pen because I like the bright paper in the book and the pen and ink possibilities of the Sharpie.  Pen and Ink is one of my first and earliest loves; a Pilot Sharpie is a great alternative for a bottle of ink and a dip-pen.  


I enjoyed the sketching and the memories of all those past band concerts with Dan and a host of others.  There was no one there I recognized.  I stayed for a little more than an hour.  Sketching was quite a challenge because people move so much, even in repose.  I think that my brain enjoyed the challenge.  It’s been a long time since I’ve used my people drawing skills and even though I felt quite rusty, I also felt invigorated & hopeful. 


The band consisted of 2 young women with guitars who had great voices and a wonderful repertoire.  After an hour of sketching my brain felt like my legs after a half hour of vigorous walking on the treadmill, so I put my sketchbook away,  got out my camera and took a long video shot of the scene from where I sat.    While I shot my video, the band and the audience were singing ‘Good Morning America’ a song I love to hear, love to sing.    The video in this post is my Internet singing debut.  As I was shooting and singing, I also noticed that the sky looked as if it intended to speak rain & soon, so a little before the song ended, I packed up and left.  
The 3rd sketch, the one of 2 women, I did the other night when I was with a group of people.  I enjoyed that sketch, too.  I am interested in, amazed by, enjoying the whatever that got me to make these sketches in the first place.  Doing them was fun and a nice break from the ordinary. 

"Every child is an artist; the problem is how to remain an artist once he/she has grown up." 
Pablo Picasso

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