I was very excited about getting to see Devils Tower. Seeing it from a distance while driving was amazing - it's so tall! We camped right beside it, just to the east of it, so we had an amazing view. It was hard to look away from it but when I did I felt like I could sense its presence, sort of like how I can feel where the Mississippi River is at all times when I'm anywhere in Memphis.
We got there in the late afternoon and camped one night, and all I could think about while we were there was sketching it. I even woke up in the tent in the middle of the night thinking about sketching it the next day.
I drew the one on the left in the dark, and drew the other one the next morning in the light of day.
If you follow me on Instagram (@elizabethalley), you might know that at home in Memphis I often sketch and paint a building called the Clark Tower, and because I sketch and paint it so much, a friend declared it "my Devils Tower," as in the thing I'm obsessed with like the character in Close Encounters of the Third Kind who sculpted Devils Tower out of mashed potatoes. Anyway, all of that was an extra bit of excitement for being able to see it in person, but also caused me a moment of hesitation due to the expectations of sketching The Actual Devils Tower. But, I was happy to find that I didn't sketch it nine times out of a sense of obligation, but because I wanted to explore it. I could have sketched how the shadows changed on it all. day. long.
After we left, I kept thinking about how if I'd had more time I would have done a more involved sketch. But I later figured out that by doing nine quick-ish sketches I probably learned more and enjoyed myself more than I would have with fewer sketches that took more time. I'll tell you more about that lesson later.
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