Last Saturday morning, a few of us met at the Desert Lab to spend some quiet time, about three hours, sketching outdoors on Tumamoc Hill. Field sketching is simple and you can’t fail at it, yet it takes a lifetime of practice to develop fully. It’s almost like a spiritual path to many artists, but we often don’t make the time for it because of all the 10,000 things that compete for our attention.
For an excellent example of taking on-site sketching very seriously, see Frederick Franck’s inspirational books, especially The Zen of Seeing.
Like a church or synagogue service, it helps to have others with you doing the same thing, even though you might all spread out and work in your own quiet corner of the Hill. Drawing is a kind of thinking and it’s also a meditation.
Several advantages of Tumamoc Field-sketching sessions: Normally the hill is closed to walkers during business hours, and although weekends are open, people would have to walk up from the bottom. As it is, we meet at the gate, which I can open, and car pool up to the Desert Lab parking lot. I open the buildings, which provide water, bathrooms, and shelter. There is also a shaded patio with chairs, perfect for showing work and a chat. Within a few feet of the buildings the wild land begins.
We recommend people bring a hat, sunscreen, and water. We will have extra if anyone forgets.
By unanimous vote, we decided to hold similar sessions in the future on a regular basis, open to anyone who expresses interest and wants to be on the mailing list. We will post here as well as email interested participants about the next date.