Killing Time Before The Show

10:12 AM

Jacaranda Tree across the Hillsborough River
Straz Performing Arts Center
Watercolor and Ink
Stillman & Birn Zeta Bound Sketchbook
I have the opportunity to go and see We Will Rock You, a musical featuring Queen's music. Somehow, we managed to arrive too early, so will my friend Celeste took a call I decided to pull out my sketchbook. 

I wasn't sure how long I'd have to try and capture the gorgeous Jacaranda tree in bloom across the river, but since I had my iPhone with me, I knew I could always take a photo if it became necessary. 

Once I had the bare bones down, I checked on Celeste to see if she was still on the phone. When I realized it was going to be a lengthy call, I pulled out my palette and started slinging (literally) paint—there's a big black smudge under the ticket on the right page!

Close up of page
Despite being a tad messy, it was fun and will always be remembered as the beginning of a super, fun night. The show was a blast. We clapped, sang along and would have danced if there had been room. 

One of the things I often tell folks in the Imaginary Trip classes is that as artists we have to look for and seize those little pockets of time that are unexpected gifts. Seize the moment!

To take advantage of those golden moments, it is necessary to turn loose of perfection and expectations because you never know just how long you're going to have or how things are going to turn out. 

For those few minutes when you're racing the clock and you're watching the image emerge on the page is pure gold and the image is just a bonus. It becomes part of a bigger experience. One that was made richer because of the sketching assuming you don't get caught up in the "is it good enough" mindset. 

The first challenge comes in recognizing those pockets of time. The second challenge is scraping up the courage to sketch in front of people. I had several couples mosey by me while peeking at the page. 

Because I knew my time was severely limited, I hung out a mental "Do Not Disturb" shingle and no one attempted to engage me in conversation. I didn't meet anyone's eyes, I didn't smile at anyone and as such, I was able to focus on the scene. 

The third challenge is knowing your current skill level and how fast you can sketch. If the whole scene is too much to attempt, focus on a less ambitious sketch. There were fountains, row boats, ducks and gorgeous (non-moving) plants in bloom that could easily have been added to the page.

Even if you don't come away with a stellar sketch, give yourself kudos for making the attempt!

Have you sketched on location lately? What was your biggest challenge? And if you haven't, what's holding you back?
___________________________

Many thanks to Celeste for the invitation and ticket to the show and best of luck to you in DC!

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