Sketching Fungi and Plants (or Not!) at the Bell Museum Sketch Night

February 7, 2011

The full post has my sketches from this night and some other comments.

Above: My first sketch of the evening, the adorable Virginia Rail with which I've fallen in love. Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and gouache in a journal I made that's about 6 x 8 inches and has the thicker (thickest?) Gutenberg for pages.

I walked into the conference room in the Bell's Touch and See area and saw about 20 feet of table covered with pine cones. Jennifer hadn't finished putting out the nuts and other materials in the other rooms and I should have thought to ask or look. Instead I just started muttering that I was not going to draw anything with with a Fibonacci sequence. Heck I couldn't even spell it as you can see from the journal page!

Later when I was finishing my rail, Judith pointed out that I essentially had, but by then I was deeply committed to sketching this Rail (which I drew in January as well) in a variety of poses. (Note: because this is one of the small specimens in the cabinets Jennifer was able to bring it out for us to use and turn any way we wanted. This is one of the fun things about Sketch Night—access to more specimens, closer up, and from all angles. Great preparation for sitting in the woods and sketching!)

In between sketches of the rail, Ken Avidor asked me to go about the museum and talk about Sketch Night as he made a video—one sentence in front of each specimen or diorama. I think I was barely coherent, but he kept saying he could edit it all together. Then at one point he asked me to say more about Jaques and I said, "I've said it all, I don't have anything else to say," or words to that effect. So there you have it. Ken has posted the video on Urban Sketchers—Twin Cities so you can have a good laugh and see some of the great work people were doing on Thursday!

But then it was back to sketching the rail. I got looser and looser as the night went on and that was just fine with me. Here are the other two images I sketched.

Above: Second Rail sketch was with a Faber-Castel Pitt Artist's Calligraphy pen. I like the wobbly hard edges to the line. I added a little bit of yellow and then red gouache. It has a fun quality to it that I like. There were a lot of conversations going on and periodically I would jot something down.

Above: Third Rail sketch. Like the second it uses the Faber-Castel Pitt Artist's Calligraphy pen. I was even looser in this sketch, and frankly, spending too much time talking and not enough time concentrating on my sketch. But I love the feathery rear end on this bird. I think I got it. One of our conversations at our end of the table was about humorous songs and the "Prince Charles" song came up. Tom W. and I thought of the singer just as I was writing the note to remind myself to let Roberta know after I found out. With only a few minutes left in the evening I looked across at Judith, sketching the Rail from her angle across the table, and did a very quick sketch of her. She seemed to get a kick out of the fact that she had infiltrated my journal! (Several months ago I infiltrated her journal!)

On February 3 we had about 25 people. (I counted up to 24 but know there were some other people coming and going so I think we were over 25…)

It was a great group and a lot of sketching took place. I hope you'll mark your calendar and consider joining us for the March Sketch Night on Thursday, March 3, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jennifer announced that the topic would be freshwater aquatic life. That will be a lot of fun as there are several live turtles in the Touch and See Room if you want to stay on topic and work with live models!

    • February 7, 2011

    Really LOVE the second one. Makes me want to create! Hope your well BFF.

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