Sunday, August 07, 2011

Trip to City Beach

We are having a string of, in my opinion, perfect summer days: temps into the 80's, cooling breezes off the lake, overnight temps dropping into the 40's so the house cools off for easy slumber. Although I can park myself around the side of the house and view the lake, this afternoon I craved less solitude while I enjoyed the nice weather and worked on my newspaper blackout obits (view this week's offerings here). So I packed up a bag with the Sunday obituaries, a sketchbook, a magazine and a book, grabbed a lawn chair and headed for city beach.

Yes, I left the camera at home because I really need to sketch, and I haven't for a long time. As I looked for a good spot to set up my chair, I noticed a gull perched on top of a street lamp. One of the reasons I don't sketch more is that I convince myself there's nothing I'm that interested in spending my time on. Yes, I know this is a lame excuse. And I sometimes try to tell myself there's nothing more to sketch down at the park. I've already sketched sailboats on the water, a sunbather reading a book, gulls lined up along the log boom, one of the park benches. So sketch your sandals, if nothing else, and I suppose I would have had I not looked up and seen that gull.

One of the things that has fascinated me for a long time is that special perspective one gets looking up at an object. It's not as easy to capture in 2-dimensions as I thought it would be. This would be a good opportunity to give it a go.

Let me tell you, it's not so easy getting angles right when you have to crane your neck then look down at your sketchpad rather than the usual set-up of having your subject in nearly the same plane as where you are drawing. Yes, I was too self conscious to hold the pad up to compare. If I had not told you the perspective, would you have known?

I didn't spend a great deal of time on the gull, although he sat in relatively the same position for adequate lengths of time. What a ham. Just as I decided I'd done enough on the lamp post and maybe should tweak the bird a bit, he was gone. Ok, I'll take the hint. Enough time spent on this exercise.

I never got to the book or the magazine - I wasn't sure how long I'd stay or what I'd feel like doing once there and the obits were done so I brought plenty of diversions. Sometimes it's just enough to enjoy the view and draw interest and energy from the variety of people who take advantage of this free setting - from teenagers congregating to parents with young children to all sorts just reading or walking, having a picnic or taking a dip in the lake. I often forget that our area draws tourists from all over the world, especially in the summer, but was reminded today as I listened in on conversations in heavily accented English, German and Chinese or Korean. Seriously, who would think this little Podunk berg in Northern Idaho could pull such a crowd?


June said...

aaargh, sketching while craning one's neck upside down -- pain, pain, pain. You are a hero. So it's good that you added the bit about sitting and eavesdropping so we wouldn't think you were too virtuous.

Gulls are fun to draw! But I like mine on fence posts.

Connie Rose said...

Sand Point IS a beautiful place!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Oh goodness, June, I'd hate you to think of me as virtuous, lol!

Yes, Connie, even USA today has decided we are the most beautiful city in America. I'm not sure about "most" but certainly one of the most beautiful.