Portrait or Landscape?

Yesterday I joined Barbara Renshaw and about a dozen others for a Sketch Walk at Marina Point in Morro Bay.

Although it’s November, it was about 60 degrees in town, and I didn’t expect it to be SO COLD out at the point! The wind was bitter, but I would have loved it if I had dressed for the occasion. As it was, I was in jeans, a cotton tank top, and a light corduroy blazer. I was freezing!

We ventured out in a pack, but as people found scenes they wanted to sketch, the wandering group got smaller and smaller. We walked on the path, through mud puddles and brush, onto the salt marsh (which I was very excited about– I’ve always wondered how people got out there!), and I did find a magnificent view of Morro Rock but I had to keep going to find shelter from the wind. Finally there was a pretty good view of Hollister Peak, but it was just not inspiring me. I’m really not a landscape person. I needed a little more drama, so I found a huge conifer that was drooping down and almost forming a cave, a little secret spot with a view of the Peak peeking through the branches.

“This is cool,” I thought. So I sat down to sketch. I pulled out my 6B pencil and my drawing pad and I made some lines. Ugly lines. Lines that represented the tree branches and the peak, but ugly lines no less. That’s when I remembered why I don’t do landscapes: I don’t like them. Still, it was a pretty cool view, so I decided to take a photo of it. Unfortunately, I had left my camera in the car, but I hey, I had my cell phone camera! I took two photos and the memory card was full. Just not my day.

I decided to use the time to make a texture study, and drew some bark. I was not really excited about that either, so I drew a plant that was poking up through the pine needles. Then I blacked out the background, and the less realistic it looked, the more I liked it.

Sketch Walk November, originally uploaded by LandlockedSailr.

I started back toward the marina and a beautiful little ketch with dark green sail covers caught my eye, but the sun was so bright and the wind was so cold and my eyes kept stinging and burning, so I took some quick notes and headed back to the car.

Overall I was pretty disappointed in how the day turned out, mostly due to my own lack of preparation! Next time I will remember to bring:

    1. More layers
    2. My camera!
    3. A stool to sit on
    4. Scarf, handkerchief, hat
    5. Contact lenses and sun glasses

If you’re in the area, come join us!


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