Laurel Sucsy is showing paintings and photographs in the Mallory/Wurtzberger Galleries at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens right now and I had the pleasure of hearing her talk about her work on October 30.
I wrote down a lot of things that she said. "How you do something is much of what it is," reminded me of D. B. Dowd's book Stick Figures, as many things do, in which he says, "How a thing is made is part of what it means."
That idea - both of those ideas - have become important to me as I've changed the way that I work, because my painting is now more about the act of making it than a pre-planned idea.
I love that Laurel does master copies (copying a painting or drawing) because that's such a good way to learn, and I've been telling my students to copy sketches more to learn about how they are made.
I look for inspiration everywhere, and found it in her saying that she was showing work from the beginning of a series. I tend to work in a series to completion, then show it, then work hard to figure out the next series. But what if I spread a series out? What if it's all a series?
She also said that during her painting process the painting starts talking back, and that reinforces what I've been telling my mixed water media class - that the painting will tell you what it needs next.
Go see Laurel's show! It's on view through January 5.
A couple of weeks ago we took our niece Genevieve to New York - she's the fourth of four so we took her older brothers and sister in 2011, 2014, and 2015.
It was G's first plane ride and she did great! We hit the ground running, eating lobster rolls, riding the Seaglass Carousel, seeing the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island ferry, and eating lots of sushi. Hardly any time to sketch while running around the city with a 13-year-old!
Our hotel room had a pretty amazing view and I had a few minutes to sketch it. At some point in the very early morning I saw the moon to the left of the tall building, low over the ground and the orangest orange I've ever seen. We also saw a guy in a fez on the subway.
All of a sudden I can't wait until March because the amazing Pat Southern-Pearce - those are her sketches above - is teaching a workshop in Nashville! The workshop is at the Union Station Hotel on Saturday and Sunday, March 21 and 22.
I first met Pat at the 7th Urban Sketchers Symposium, in Manchester. I didn't get to spend much time with her, but I talked to so many people who did and who were utterly charmed by her sketching and her teaching. Same thing happened at the next Symposiums because her workshops are so popular I haven't been able to register for one! But now she is coming here, just a few hours from me. So excited!
If you are interested in attending (and if there are spots left!), do a search for Pat Southern-Pearce on Facebook and you should be able to find this information. I also shared it on the Memphis Urban Sketchers Group on Facebook.
The next Symposium (the 11th!) is in beautiful Hong Kong in April 2020. I will more than likely not attend because I was already planning a different adventure for April, so I've been thinking about other options for learning more about sketching over the summer.
See the Urban Sketchers website for more information about the 2020 Symposium.
This is a fun-looking summer-camp-like option taught by four incredible sketchers. It takes place closer to the time that the Symposium usually takes place and looks like a nice place to escape the heat of a Memphis July.
See this site for more information about the Urban Sketching Summer Retreat.
Suma CM is teaching a workhsop in Umbria, Italy in May that looks lovely! It's four days and also includes dining and accommodations. More information here.
Liz Steel teaches in the summer in Italy, too. Her Palladian Odyssey Tour is still taking registration for June 2020, and the May tour is already sold out!
You can also check the Urban Sketchers site for Upcoming Workshops for more great options!
Today I met up with the Memphis Urban Sketchers at City & State on Broad Ave. It was the day of the Broad Avenue Art Walk so there was plenty to see, but several of us stayed at City and State as we visited with each other and sketched. My plan going in was to sketch several vignettes across two pages of an 8x10 Stillman & Birn Alpha. I did one of my coffee cup and scone, and then just went for my “fat pen” (Pigma Graphic 1), and sketched everything. It was so fun! I added a few touches of color at the end.
It made me think about Karen Sung's workshop at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Amsterdam (I posted about it here), where she told us to follow the lines to see where they take you.
I taught a sketching workshop last Saturday and noticed I kept talking about sketching coffee cups as though they are my main subject. These sketches kind of prove they are!
I was keeping count of my coffee cups earlier this year but I've lost count.
Sometimes my coffee cups are travel mugs.
Sometimes my coffee cups are hand-made travel tumblers! This is one of my favorites, made by Bridgman Pottery.
This one is featured twice! I only have so many coffee cups...
Friday cup! I caught up the count at this point, but have lost count again since then. The drawing at the bottom helped me solve a problem in a painting I was working on.
Sometimes my coffee cup is a to-go cup, because I cannot deny my love of Starbucks' Americano. I guess I'm pretty basic.
Wow, three in one! And a fatsia!
Another favorite, this one by Paper and Clay. Now I need to catch up on scanning my sketchbooks - think of how many more coffee cups I've sketched since then!
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