Thursday, February 26, 2015

Birding down in Kissimmee

Terry's niece Claire Brown was visiting with her boyfriend. The entire Brown family are avid birders and Terry has also caught the birding obsession. It has been a blessing on vacation because while Terry was searching for birds, I could sketch. This is a rather old sketchbook that has a few unfilled spreads left to fill. On these pages I drew two thumbs for some reason. Those thumbs became a block that kept me from filling up the sketchbooks. At a Mystery Sketch Theater session, I used the spread to do quick gestural studies in pencil. The sketchbook sat abandoned for years. I like a sketchbook to have an overall flow when it is flipped through. For whatever reason this spread threw the book off track.

I erased as much of the harsh pencil work as I could and reworked the sketch as my relatives birded. I only had at most half an hour, so I kept the sketch extra loose. Trying to do a sketch in a stolen moment like this is stressful, but the sketch couldn't be any worse than the mess that was already on the page. In some ways, messing up the page a bit first can be freeing. It gets past the pristine blank page and lets me realize it is just a sketch, let it go.  I've shown this sketch to students and they seldom notice the thumbs hidden in the composition. You can always change and adjust a sketch to push it in a new direction. It was a lesson learned, and soon this sketchbook will be filled and join the others on my bookshelf.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


MiataGrrl said...

I really appreciate seeing this kind of "loose" sketch once in a while! This is the kind some of us make all the time :-) , so it's nice to know that not ALL of your sketches are completely polished and finished. ;-) Thanks!

- Tina

Thor said...

Thanks MiataGrrl. Checked your site and was fascinated with your fountain pen quest. I've been searching as well but you have done so much more research. I'll be reading more.