I want to tell you all about the Urban Sketchers Symposium and my trip to Auckland, but first let me tell you about this hill.
It was a perfect day - we took the ferry to Devonport, found a nice restaurant for lunch, went to the park so I could sketch and Toby could watch boats. At this point I was working on getting out the awkward sketches that happen before a Symposium, when I typically forget how to draw.
After that, we had a drink at a pub, and then I walked up Takarunga / Mount Victoria, which is the highest volcano on that part of the shore at 217 feet. But don't worry, there was a nice paved road to walk up on.
There was nothing special about it and everything special about it - I love walking, I love discovering things while walking, and I love sitting and sketching a nice view - I sketched Rangitoto, a nearby volcanic island across the Hauraki Gulf.
It felt like so much more than just a walk.
The way I was getting to know the hill by walking up it and noticing every different kind of plant and bird sound, and the sound of the wind in the grass and the far-off views, is similar to how I think about observational drawing: I was getting to know things about the space by walking it that I couldn't have learned another way. The walking, the sitting and looking and listening felt like work of art in itself.
I kept reflecting on it over the two weeks of our trip to center myself and noticing how the feeling of it related to what I'm trying to capture in the studio: the (brief) moment in the space, and the place that it becomes for me through that experience.
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