Thursday, 23 May 2013

(Damp) SketchCrawl at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

We had a very creative, but rather wet SketchCrawl last Saturday. It was a return visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture ParkWe've had several really good days there since our first visit in 2011 and last time, the YSP even made a film about us!

We had a brilliant turn-out, despite the grim weather forecast. Rain was definitely in the air. The sensible option, which many people went for, was to draw inside the galleries, but I felt in the mood for the landscape, so braved the outdoors. Not my best idea. Especially since I had opted for pastels. It was already spitting when I set up on the main terrace to sketch the row of Josephsohn sculptures below. The chalk soon refused to take on my damp paper and, when I tried to blend colours, the surface of the paper came off.

I got a bit grumpy, I must confess. The rain got heavier and heavier. My tray of pastels started to fill up. I actually had to up-end my A3 sketchbook, to let the water pour from one corner! 

Luckily the drawings (and my feet) dried out OK in the end and, actually, now I look back at the sketch, I'm rather pleased with the way the adverse conditions affected the process. I got an interesting print on the opposite page too: 

I retreated indoors, where I used paper hankies to dry everything off the best I could and left little water pools on the gallery floor. I had a couple of goes at more Josephsohn sculptures, but my heart wasn't really in it - I wanted to be outside.

We stopped for a bit of lunch and, by the time we were ready to start again, the rain had paused. Optimistically (foolishly?) we left the sanctuary of the gallery area and walked down to the lake. There were Canada Geese everywhere, eating the grass, so I whipped out a tiny A6 book and my Sailor pen:

Almost as soon as I put pen to paper, the rain began again. I huddled further and further into the beech trees:

Luckily, as well as my pastels, I had also packed my watercolour pencils, which didn't mind the damp. Since my feet were already sodden, I just zipped up my waterproof and carried on regardless:

I was walking back to base at the end of the afternoon, curious to see how my fellow sketchers had fared and desperate for a cuppa, when I spotted these fabulous, twisted branches on the ground. Luckily there was a pine tree to shelter under, so I stopped for one last drawing:

I thought quite a few people might have sloped off, but when we I got back, ready for our usual sharing of the sketchbooks, I discovered that almost everyone had braved it out to the very end. They had all sketched their socks off, despite the conditions. It was fascinating to see everyone else's work (and great to warm up with a nice mug of hot coffee!). The sketches were as exciting and varied as ever. We had two new young members (only 9 years old), who both did a great job, sketching the Yinka Shonibare sculptures. You can see their work here and here.    


Anihil8 said...

What are the circular things among the geese? THey look like hay bales, but I really can't tell.

Me said...

wonderful work!

Lynne the Pencil said...

They are sculptures, made to look like hay bales (though gun-metal grey), but there all year long.

Sue Pownall said...

Kudos to you Lynn for your dedication; the results are certainly worth it!!!