Sunday, June 14, 2015

an alternative view

Pen and watercolor wash sketch of French village.


I always get a kick of of it when locals don't recognise the view I've sketched. This is the case in both the sketches above. While locals recognised their village church in the sketch at the top, the vantage point puzzled them and I got lots of questions about where I sketched this from. I just pointed to a lovely shady spot on the other side of the river.  Somewhere they've probably walked by many times, but never stopped to look.

The sketch at the bottom of the page, in nearby Pont-en-Royans, is not of the famous Maisons Suspendues (medieval suspended houses). Again a bit of a surprise to the locals. But then I explain I've sketched that other beautiful scene many times and probably will again.

I think I see places differently now that I sketch on location. It's like how a climber never looks at a piece of rock or a mountain quite the same way to anyone else. A climber is always looking up, seeing a new way to the top, wondering if a line is climbable, if the rock is any good. Climbers see the beauty in cliffs and mountains in a different way to others. I think, since I started sketching outdoors, I see the beauty of places in a different way to others. I notice quite different things. I become immersed in a place so much more than before. Even if I don't sketch what I see, the colours, shapes, movements, people, and scenes stay with me.


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